a Catholic Womanâ€™s
n the course of a day, a week, or a year, each of us is touched by God in ways too numerous to count and often too profound to explain. If we’re honest we might also admit that, as hopeful as we might be about God’s active presence in our lives, we’re often far too busy to notice it. In A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days, I’ve tried to oﬀer daily meditations that clear a spiritual space in which to recognize that Presence, no matter how busy the rest of life is. T hese thoughts are rooted in my own experiences, but I hope that the moments on which I reﬂect and the questions that I ask are broad enough to include yours, too. As we journey through this year together, may our hearts be enlivened by God’s constant grace, our spirits be freed in his mercy and love, and our whole beings grow more ﬁnely tuned to the Lord’s presence—within every sentence and page of the “book of days” called life.
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January 1 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
— Luke 2:19 b
he previous months had given Mary much to contemplate: her mysterious, God-given pregnancy; her aged cousin’s maternity; and the birth of her Son attended—marvelously—by angels. The beginning of a new year is the natural time to reﬂect on the past. But let’s be careful to sift through these memories of joy and regret in the right way. Reﬂecting on the past helps us discern God’s will and how we’ve responded to it. It can hurt, though, if our reﬂections become occasions for paralyzing regret or wishful nostalgia, both of which blind us to God’s presence in the here and now, in the limitless possibility of the brand-new year.
b Lord, thank you for the past year of my life. Help me to grow in my awareness of your love in the present moment and not be discouraged by the past.
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January 2 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.
— 1 John 2:24 b
hat is it you have heard from the beginning? For many of us, childhood memories of religious formation are suﬀused with a sense of simple trust. Our parents, grandparents, and teachers told us that God created us, loves us, and takes care of us. It’s good to remember that those who taught us to trust knew, as we do now, of suﬀering, pain, and shadows. These experiences may have raised questions, but they also, in the end, brought the answers of trust and faith they shared with us.
b Lord, in this new year, give me the grace to live in response to the simple truth of your love and care for me.
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January 3 O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
— Psalm 98:1 b
he baby sits in the middle of his super-duper play saucer, propped upright by a towel around his middle, his feet dangling in the air. His eyes are wide open, and his head just can’t stop moving as his gaze darts from toy to toy. Within seconds, he starts wailing. It’s all just too much. The wealth of amusing and developmentally helpful plastic objects has overwhelmed him with choices. As the new year begins and we contemplate what we want to make of it, our reaction may be similar to the baby’s. Evidence of our faults surrounds us, and opportunities for growth and change overwhelm us. Which way should we go? What should come ﬁrst? The psalmist gives us a diﬀerent idea. Instead of beginning with self-scrutiny, why not start this year with a new song: one of openhearted praise?
b Lord, I thank you for my life and for the chance to grow that this new year brings.
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A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days
Finding God Every Day
od is present to us in ways too numerous to count. Unfortunately, we are often so busy that we fail to recognize and respond to this active presence. A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days oﬀers daily meditations that clear a spiritual place—a time in our day when we can set our hearts on God. The meditations are brief, pointed, direct, and personal—and will connect you to God’s word and the Catholic faith.
a Catholic Woman’s
Amy Welborn’s books include The Words We Pray: Rediscovering the Richness of Traditional Catholic Prayers and Loyola Kids Book of Saints. She lives with her family in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Visit her Web site at www.amywelborn.com.