A Spiritual Exercise To Help
Make the New Year A New Year

by Halley Low

Like our bodies our souls can become flabby and out of shape from lack of exercise. Not to let that happen set a time each day, or as often as you can throughout this first month of the new year, to quietly exercise your soul by reading and reflecting on the following message from our Lord, with an elaboration by Thomas Merton.

Jesus said, “He that would save his own life shall lose it, yet he who would lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

“He was teaching us the great truth that God’s will for us is, before all else, that we should find ourselves, find our true life…God’s will for us is not only that we should be the persons He means us to be, but that we should share in His work of creation and help Him to make us into the persons He means us to be. Always, and in all things, God’s will for me is that I should shape my own destiny, work out my own salvation, forge my own eternal happiness, in the way He has planned it for me. And since no man is an island, since we all depend on one another, I cannot work out God’s will in my own life unless I also consciously help other people to work out His will in theirs. His will, then, is our sanctification, our transformation in Christ, our deeper and fuller integration with other people. And this integration results not in the absorption and disappearance of our own personality, but in its affirmation and its perfection….This view of life as a growth in God, as a transformation in Christ, and as a supernatural self-realization in the mystical body of Christ is the only one that really helps us to recognize and interpret the will of God correctly…and show us the way to realize ourselves in Him by losing ourselves in charity.” - No Man Is An Island

(Charity means love in action, and God’s charity means His holy love in action through us.)

A daily prayer for the month of January

Lord, in this new year
open my heart and fill me daily with your transforming Spirit,
that each new day
I may become more of the new creature
that you call me to be in Christ.


© 2004 Halley Low

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