Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A New Year has begun! So many plans for self-improvement! But what could use attention in our spiritual lives? For my part, I’d like to learn more from the lives of the saints. Their inspiring human stories remind me that the road we walk as Christians is a well-traveled one.
And I’m in luck: 2,000 years of Church history yields daily examples to nourish the soul. Of the two saints we honor today, I knew that Gregory of Nazianzen presided over the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, which completed the Nicene Creed we recite at mass each Sunday. St. Basil was a hermit called upon to be a bishop and help the Church through difficult times. Here’s something I didn’t know: the two men were best friends. How wonderful to recall that even the saints had friendships to support their faith journeys!
We have a duty as Christians to help and serve the poor. But some days, the place our attention is needed most is with a friend. Is there a friend who could use a New Year’s check-in today?
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.
O Lord our God, we beseech you, to ask for the gift we need. Steer the ship of our life to yourself, the quiet harbor of all storm-stressed souls. Show us the course which we are to take. Renew in us the spirit of docility. Let your Spirit curb our fickleness; guide and strengthen us to perform what is for our own good, to keep your commandments and ever to rejoice in your glorious and vivifying presence. Yours is the glory and praise for all eternity. Amen.
—Prayer of St. Basil the Great