At a recent Mass I attended, at the end of his homily, the priest asked us to close our eyes for a moment and ask Our Lady to give us a word for the upcoming year. This was a word that the Holy Spirit wanted to bring to fruition in our lives and give us the graces to live out; a word that would help us in clarifying our mission for the year ahead.
We were not to choose the word ourselves but to take this time of prayer and let that word be spoken to us. Our job was to get quiet for a moment, silence the inner chatter, tune in, and let Our Lady speak the word to us.
A hush fell over the congregation as people closed their eyes and settled down to listen. An undercurrent of fidgety baby noises accompanied us but did not take away from this concentrated moment of quiet prayer.
As I listened, I heard distinctly the word “focus”, then “enlightened focus”. It resonated in my heart as I let that word percolate down in my soul.
Sitting with this word in my subsequent prayer times, I believe Our Lady wants to help me focus better in this new year — to focus on how God wants me to use my gifts and talents, instead of clinging to my pet projects or agendas. I know she will help me block out the distractions and steer me aright.
What is your word?
I encourage you to find a peaceful moment this week and take some time to do this. Maybe sit by your lighted Christmas tree when others have gone to bed. Or when you first wake up and have a moment to yourself to pray. Ask the Blessed Mother to speak a word clearly to your heart — a word that will help orient you in a good direction this coming year and give you clarity on your mission.
You may find yourself throwing out some suggestions. Or you may worry that it was only your imagination that came up with the word. Don’t overthink it! A word will come and gently settle in and around you. Humbly accept the word and ask her for all the graces you need to live it out. She won’t disappoint you.
With love and prayers, Mary Ann and I wish you and all your loved ones a very merry Christmas!