The Last Day of the Year

It may be perverse of me, but I think the last day of the year is just as important as the first. It is a time for giving thanks for blessings received, asking forgiveness for wrongs committed, forgiving those who have wronged us, and asking grace for the future. Already, even before January, the month that looks both ways, begins, we are aware of needing to make decisions about both past and future. We cannot reject the past, but we can allow it to be redeemed. We cannot determine the future, but we can allow it to be permeated with the love and mercy of God.

In the monastery on the last day of the calendar year, we read chapter 73 of the Rule of St Benedict and are reminded that the Rule itself is only a beginning of holiness, a first step towards the loftier heights of wisdom and virtue described by St Benedict. For me, it will be the 96th time I have heard that chapter read in community. I can look back and see how often I have failed to live up to its demands. I can look forward in hope to trying to live it better in 2014; but most of all, I can decide, here and now, to try to live today as it should be lived because ‘today’ is all we ever really know. So, for me, no New Year resolutions as such, only a renewed sense of purpose about what I am called to be and do. I think (hope?) that is probably enough. It is certainly the best I can do.

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8 thoughts on “The Last Day of the Year”

  1. An encouragement and wise example to us all. May your, and D. Lucy’s, present moments throughout the coming year be blessed and grace filled, each one of them.

  2. As usual, your thought provoking comments will make me try to take stock of my life and its effect for good or ill on others. Wishing you peace and blessings for the New Year.

  3. My attitude to New Year resolutions in a characteristic, felicitously put nutshell. Here’s to a better 2014 for us all, and to our own efforts to make it so.

  4. When I was young, Hogmanay was a time of cleaning in preparation for the New Year (Ne’erday). The ‘cleaning’ included making sure every bill was paid , every grudge forgiven, every mis-deed apologised for – just as you say, Dame Catherine. Of course, the busyness included making the steak pie in preparation for the party after “the Bells”. Oh, I do miss the church bells, the shipyard hooters and the ships’ foghorns!

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