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The Year of Faith

Today begins the Year of Faith, called by Pope Benedict in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  That’s a pretty heady combination so I suppose it is unsurprising there are no shortage of plans and resources for how best to spend this upcoming year – everything from Bible studies to plans for reading the entire Catechism.  I even thought at one point of reading all the documents of Vatican II, which is something I’ve long wanted to do.

Today, though, as this great year begins I find myself completely uninspired by any of the options; I think it would be more accurate to call it rather overwhelmed.  I’ve stretched myself with so many commitments the thought of adding another one – even for a truly good reason like this – just seems all together too much.  I wonder just how many people have had the same reaction and opted to just do nothing.

Sometimes ignoring what’s going on around you with the rationalization that “I’m already too busy anyway” is  just the easiest path – and in these highly stressful times perhaps it even feels like the only possible path.  I have to admit, much of the day today I’ve felt exactly that same way.

Maybe though, just maybe, this Year of Faith isn’t about the Church asking us to add yet one more commitment to our mountain of checklists, to-dos, and already-overdues.  Maybe it’s about proposing to each of us that we take a step back and look at those tens and hundreds of things with which we’ve lined the minutes of our lives and decide which of them never really should have been allowed to creep into the list of mandatory must-haves and must-dos.  Maybe this Year of Faith thing really is something for which room needs to be made in and amongst our impossible to avoids and utterly unquestionables.  Today, perhaps this week if you need, might just be a great time to reassess your list, to find those things that either never belonged there in the first place or have since become far less important than how they are currently being treated.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be a formalized program, maybe it doesn’t have to be something that takes hours of your day every day.  Maybe all it takes is just enough time to help remember that God is God, that He loves us enough to give His very life for us and that He has left us His Church to help us come to know, love and serve him.  That is, in the end, what really counts.

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