The Light of the World
~ William Holman Hunt (1827 - 1910)
"I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the
light of life." John 8:12
On Christmas Day 1939,
King George VI gave a brief radio address to the nation, already at
war with Germany. The king offered words of encouragement and ended
his remarks by quoting a poem by Louise Haskins (see below), It has
since become known around the world:
I said to
the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I
may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied, 'Go out into the
darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to
you better than light, and safer than a known way.'
Miss Minnie Louise Haskins
(1875-1957) a lecturer at the London School of Economics,
wrote this as the introduction to a poem called 'The Desert' in
I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
All that you sought and didn't find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn't achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but didn't dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have--these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.
I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "Behold, I make all things new."
for the New Year
Sacred Mystery,waiting on the threshold of this new year,
you open the gates and beckon to me:
"Come! Come! Be not wary of what awaits you as you enter the
unknown terrain, be not doubtful of your ability to grow from its
joys and sorrows. For I am with you. I will be your Guide.
I will be your Protector. You will never be
Guardian of this new year, I set aside my
fears, worries, concerns, I open my life to mystery, to beauty, to
hospitality, to questions, to the endless opportunity of
discovering you in my relationships, and to all the silent wisps of
wonder that will draw me to your heart.
I welcome your unfailing Presence and walk with hope into this new
Jesus, I adore You. You are my Lord, You are my God, who wants me
to turn and follow You all my life, so that I can be with You for
ever. Thank You, Lord, for such an invitation. help me always to
remember just how much love You have for each one of Your
Lord, in this year, which You have started for me, help me to
remember just how precious each day can be if it is used to come
closer to You. Help me to remember just how easy it is to waste
Your gift of time, and neglect those invitations to be with You in
what I am asked to do. I offer to You, my Saviour, my God, each
moment of every day You give me this year, to be used as You ask.
All that I can ask is that I am open to the invitations to grace,
to life, to You, as I live this year as Your presence, Your
instrument, Your servant.
Send Your Spirit, to guide me on this path, to encourage me, and to
give me strength to do Your will.
Our Father in
Heaven, we praise and thank You for Your
faithfulness that is seeing us on into this brand new year. Help us
to take courage for the journey by reflecting on your faithfulness
in the past - not only to us but more importantly to all who have
followed You down through the ages. As there has not failed
one single promise of Yours in the past, we have every reason to
trust You for the future. We praise and thank You. In
Jesus' precious Name. Amen.
"Courage For The
Future" "Be strong and of good courage; do
not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go" ~ Joshua 1:9
Loving God, bless
this new year with your presence. As I look at the new calendar,
each of its days waiting to be filled, I wonder what it will bring
in terms of new relationships, family, friends, sickness, work,
play, prayer and devotion. Help me to see your loving care in all
that happens day by day. Amen. ~ Jean Royer
Bless this year for
us, Eternal God: may its produce bring us
well-being. Bestow Your blessing on the earth, that it may have a
future and a hope, and that all may share its abundance in peace. -
May this New Year be a truly blessed time for us all.
always choose the destination, or even the road we take, but we can
choose, every day, to travel with hope.
Prayer of John Paul II for a New Year:
(composed for the Jubilee year - and every year
Blessed are you, Lord, Father in heaven, who, in your infinite
mercy, stooped down to us in our distress and gave us Jesus, your
Son, born of a woman, to be our Saviour and friend, our brother and
We thank you, good Father, for the gift of this New Year; make it a
time of favour for us, the year of a great return to the Father's
house, where, full of love, you await your straying children to
embrace them in your forgiveness and welcome them to your table, in
their festive garments. We praise you, Father, forever!
Father most merciful, during this Holy Year may our love for you
and for our neighbour grow ever stronger: may Christ's disciples
promote justice and peace; may they proclaim the Good News to the
poor, and may the Church our Mother direct her love especially to
the little ones and the neglected. We praise you, Father,
Father of Justice, may the Great Jubilee, and the years following,
be the fitting time for all Catholics to rediscover the joy of
living by your word and obeying your will; may they know the
goodness of fraternal communion, as they break bread together and
praise you in hymns and inspired songs. We praise you, Father,
Father, rich in mercy, may this year be a time of openness, of
dialogue and encounter among all who believe in Christ and with the
followers of other religions: in your immense love, be bountiful in
mercy to all. We praise you, Father, forever!
O God, Almighty Father, as we make our way to you, our ultimate
destiny, may all your children experience the gentle company of
Mary, most holy, image of purest love, whom you chose to be Mother
of Christ and Mother of the Church.We praise you, Father, forever!
To you, Father of life, eternal source of all that is, highest good
and everlasting light, be honour and glory, praise and
thanksgiving, with the Son and with the Spirit, for ages unending.
explanation is taken from the Divine
Mercy Diary where Sister, (now Saint) Faustina explains
further about the custom in her Convent of picking a companion
saint (or does the saint choose you? !) Many believe there
are special Graces with this - see notes further
NEW YEAR 1935 "Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details
of our life and He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I
sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can
There is a custom among us of drawing by
lot, on New Years' Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole
year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me
a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for
this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from
my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for Breakfast, we blessed ourselves and
began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards
on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation
I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to
mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voce in
my soul; I am your patron. Read. I looked at once at
the inscription and read, "Patron for the Year 1935 - the
Most Blessed Eucharist" My heart leapt with joy, and I
slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit
before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment
together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the
Suggestions: #1 Print Saint's
names with the quotation & prayer, cut individually, place
folded in a basket for people to choose one. Sister Emmanuel writes
in her book, 'Medjugorje in the 90's', that the Saint will protect
you; guide you on the right path, and share with you his/her
special charism. #2
You could choose a companion saint from the
list of the patrons of your past occupation(s) and find a saint
unknown to you. Read (print out) a short resume of their life which
might be not only fascinating but in so many ways inspiration to
follow their example. May your Saints
bring you courage and strength in the coming year.
Example Quote: "If you are what you should be, you will set the
whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight...proclaim
it...but with certain congeniality." ~ St. Catherine of Sienna,
Doctor of the Church. Prayer: "Pray for an outpouring of the
Holy Spirit in the Church."
After fishing all night with not even a mackerel to show for it,
Jesus tells His disciples, ‘Launch out into the deep…’ Why? Because
when you want what you don’t have, you’ve got to risk going where
you haven’t been yet!
A visit to The World Trade Centre would help set your priorities in
order this year. Many who survived the attacks changed careers
immediately afterwards. Initially they’d taken the job for a
lucrative pay cheque. But when the world’s tallest buildings fell,
some of the world’s best-paid workers realised how fickle it all
can be. So they went home, wept, hugged their families,
re-evaluated their lives and realised that you can have half as
much, yet be ten times better off in every way. Sad, isn’t it, that
it takes tragedy to get us there?
Know what’s even sadder? To be given chance after chance and still
not ‘get it’. Don’t wait until the bottom falls out before you
count the cost of what you’re living for. The Bible says, ‘…make
every minute count…find out what the Lord wants you to do’
(Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV). Did you get that? Make sure that what you
want is what God wants for you. Once stretched by a God-given
vision, you never snap back into your original shape again.
As you face another year, stop and take stock; compare the price
tag on God’s will for your life against what you’re already
spending; then compare the rewards of both. Once you see beyond
where you are – you’ll never look back.
Facing the New Year (2)
"LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP." LUKE 5:4 (NIV)
Mediocrity is just the best of the worst and the worst of the best.
Is that what you want? No? Then be willing to forfeit the safety of
being what you are, in order to become what God wants you to be.
Helen Keller said, ‘Security is a myth. The reason we don’t
experience it is because it doesn’t exist. Avoiding danger or
failure is no safer in the long run than out right risk. Life is
either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.’ Smart lady, eh? She
also said, ‘The only thing that’s worse than being blind is having
sight but no vision.’
The danger in not wanting much is that you usually get it. So ask
yourself, ‘What do I want this year that’s worth risking everything
for? Like 30 minutes’ sleep each morning in order to pray, read my
Bible and work on my relationship with God? To pursue that degree?
Or that business opportunity? To work on my marriage? To break that
‘Launching out’ means:
(1) setting goals, establishing a plan to reach them, and becoming
(2) staying tuned to God’s ‘leadings’ in your life
(3) confronting old fears and discovering the incredible rewards on
the other side of them
(4) looking in the mirror and respecting what you’re
(5) devoting your life to something greater than yourself, and
being blessed in doing it
(6) having a ‘Thou art with me’ attitude and attempting great
things for God. So, are you ready to launch out this
AULD LANG SYNEThe song, "Auld
Lang Syne" (midi file), is sung at the stroke of midnight in
almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the
new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's,
it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations
of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce
the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne"
literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."
Should auld acquaintance
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne
Links~ external links
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January 1st is 'World day of Prayer for
Peace' (introduced in 1967 by Pope
Paul VI: more information) 'Peace as a Journey of Hope'
Pope Francis' message
for 53rd World Day of Peace