A message from Father Don!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I pray 2022 will bring you peace and contentment in these troubled times.
For me, one good step toward this was getting my third vaccine shot on Thursday. I was impressed with how well everything was organized at the vaccine centre. Even more impressive was the admirable patience shown by both the workers and the public in the very busy Surrey Place venue.
Patience and perseverance are key to obtaining interior peace and contentment. A beautiful example of these virtues can be seen in Anna the prophet who was present when the baby Jesus was presented in the Temple (Luke 2.36). Anna, an old widow, had spent the last 60 years in the Temple praying and fasting for the coming of the Messiah. When Jesus was brought in she immediately recognized him as the Promised One and, with great rejoicing, “began to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Imagine spending 60 years in prayer and fasting! I have been shaped by the hyperactivity of the contemporary world and so find it challenging to spend even 60 minutes in prayer. Like most of you, my days are ruled by a “to do” list that tries to squeeze far too many tasks into a 24 hour period. The result is not peace and contentment but rather impatience and a pervasive superficiality.
The deep things in life only develop slowly, over an extended period of time. Growing in love with another person, listening to the voice of God, probing the mysteries of the faith – these all take time, something the bustling urban lifestyle precludes. Our age has taught us to expect immediate results, instantaneous response to text messages and quick decisions. No time for patience or perseverance.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could step away from the hustle and bustle and make a serious attempt to cultivate interior peace and contentment. Think of the impact this would have on our marriages, our families and our personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
A new year is a suitable time to commit ourselves to something new, perhaps even something as radical as regular prayer and fasting, in imitation of Anna that impressive far-seeing prophet.
Love Father Don