Someone said to me, “I like the sound of the year 2020. It rolls off my tongue easier than 2019.” And I responded that I hoped 2020 would be a year of clear vision for our future. The New Year is always a good time to look backward and forward, and Lent is the perfect time to check our eyesight. We look at what has been and envision what we hope for in our communities, our families, and ourselves. Are we living the values we say are dear? Does the way we see ourselves match the actions of everyday life? It is a time to be grateful for all the good we have experienced and with realistic, optimistic resolve to change those things that need to be changed or, as Benedict says, “to wash away the negligences of other times.”
As we look back at 2019, especially the last few months of this year, we recall some of the events and experiences for which we are grateful, including the success of our Christmas Bazaar, the reception of Associate Nelia and Postulant Jayne Erickson, and the growth of our Benedictine Oblate Community with the blessing of Jane Dolter as co-director. We are grateful for the continued dedication and joyful presence of our friends and volunteers and all of you who contribute to our extended Benedictine family. Your presence and encouragement give us hope for the future.
As we look forward in 2020, we hope and pray for a new world vision and for a positive outcome to the presidential election. We rally around those who work to relieve the pain of others and pray for those suffering from fire, earthquake, and volcanic eruption, and for the many displaced persons fleeing from political upheaval and violence. And we search our hearts for what we can do to make our homes, our communities, and our world places of welcome and peace.
May this new year 2020 and this Lenten season be one where each of us sees with new eyes so that we can all be brought closer together in a world of peace.