SAUCIER — Ponder anew


I don’t know if you noticed it, but another year has passed.

It saddens me in some ways.

I remember when it arrived, full of hope and promise. And then suddenly, it was gone, quietly slipping out the back as we ceremoniously awaited the coming of its successor.

“This one is going to be so much better,” we say confidently while secretly praying that our New Year’s celebration may not be premature and that, this year, we will not be disappointed.

We may well forget that we felt much the same last year, and the year before that, as we neared the summit of these annual divides.

We toasted the New Year, and all its opportunities for personal change, for healthy habits, for requited love, and for life to conform more to what we want it to be.

I don’t know if we blamed the year for the many ways that it failed to live up to its hype, but somewhere along the way, many gave up on it like a team with no chance of post-season play.

No doubt, there are those who cannot rid themselves fast enough of the past year.

There are those for whom loss will forever mark it. It was hard for those who lost an older loved one, but there were so many more deaths that were unexpected and inconsolable.

There are other losses — relationships, jobs and dreams of all fashions — that will permanently scar the year.

And there are our own foibles and failures — our addictions and fears, selfishness and indifference — that we projected rather than faced.

For the eternal optimists that we at least pretend to be, it’s no wonder we happily bid the old year a cold adieu and warmly welcome the new.

However, as the revelry subsides and the decorations disappear, the gray winter days offer an invitation to do as Mary did, “pondering them in her heart.”

We need to take the time to revisit those painful moments of the past year, claim them in our lives and make them a part of who we are in the New Year.

Christmas is not as much a birthday as it is a revelation of Incarnation, a reminder that all of life is infused with the divine.

There can be no love without pain, no joy without sadness, no growth without adversity.

Pondering this, professing this, living this is Incarnational.

More than any resolution, it will make this New Year different.