Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year, New Outlook

I'm pretty behind on this.  That's what happens when I make New Year's resolutions---um, would goals be a better word---concerning diet, exercise, cleanliness, keeping up with friends, writing, praying, and vitamins.

A while back I read Tracy's post about having a word of the year.  You were supposed to pick a word that would define your year.  Something to work on, inspire, and guide.  A theme, if you will.  (Writing "theme" has now caused "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"'s them song to play in my head).  Tracy got this idea from another blogger.  To give you some examples, Tracy's word for 2011 is BALANCE.  Kim's word for 2011 is BUILD.

I thought it was a cool concept.  And beyond that, my thoughts ceased.  I seemed to lack inspiration.  Later the opposite occurred.  I was flooded with words.  It was a veritable deluge of vocabulary.  Everything from balance to hope to truth to dream to. . .well, it went on and on.  They all seemed lovely.  Couldn't I have MANY words?  But that seemed to defeat the purpose.

I shrugged my shoulders and determined to forget about it.  While I had recognized that this was a cool concept, obviously it wasn't resonating enough with me.  If it had, I would have been able to apply it to my own life.  I put it out of my head.

Fast forward to Mass on January 2nd.  We were celebrating the Epiphany, even though the actual date isn't really until January 6th.  The first reading was Isaiah 60:1-6.  It began:

Arise, shine out, for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you.

There seemed to be a theme of light.  Wise men guided by a star.  The candles twinkling on the altar.  I was already feeling it.

The reading continued until the following line stood out to me:

At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart will throb and dilate, since the riches of the sea willflow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you;

RADIANT.  It hit me!  As if something actually flew into my forehead.  Boom!  I knew my word for 2011.  RADIANT.

RADIANT.  I will recognize Christ's radiance.  I will be radiant, as Jesus was.  I will be a light in the darkness, just as Jesus asks us to be.  I will recognize those things that are radiant in my own life.  I will rid myself of those things that are not radiant in my soul and in my day to day life.  I will focus on the light, not the darkness, opening my heart to the positive and turning away from the negative.  

As we sang the words to "We Three Kings," my voice rose higher as the chorus came:

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

His Perfect Light.  His radiant nature.  And finding that which is radiant in me.  It all made sense now.