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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Day

"Behold, peace is no longer promised, but conferred; no longer delayed, but given; no longer predicted, but bestowed. Behold, God has sent down to earth a bag bulging with his mercy, a bag that, at the passion, is torn open so that our ransom pours out of it onto us. A small bag, perhaps, but a full one: for it was a small child that was given to us, but in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead." St Bernard of Clairvaux

That God's mercy in Christ is like "a bag bulging with his mercy," reminds us that God is waiting, especially as we begin a new year, to pour out upon us new gifts and new dreams, and it is for us to discover and discern how best to share God's mercy with all people.

Each year our Holy Father invites Catholics and all people of good will to begin the New Year by praying for world peace in the hope that all people will pause and remember that their own human dignity is compromised and threatened unless everyone works together for justice upon which a lasting peace might be built. This year, building on the gospel reminder that peacemakers will be blessed, Benedict's critique is sharp:
It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism. (World Day of Peace)
As the New Year begins, let us all acknowledge that the inequality between rich and poor and our own selfishness contribute, not to a lasting peace, but to world where violence is inevitable.

Today, re-imagine how you might help those most in need.

What do you think are the primary causes of conflict in the world?

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