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Here we are again. It is a new beginning. The year 2020 that was supposed to bring us clear vision (20/20, of course) seems a spectacular failure in hindsight. It seems a collective nightmare to most Americans. We wonder why the pandemic still has such a hold on us, why there is such division still, so much disregard for the common good. I look at myself and lament my fatigue, lassitude and lack of motivation. Then I look at my prayer corner and wonder when I will regain the will to sit there. How can the “Just sitting” of centering prayer take so much effort? (Clue: It’s the letting go that accompanies the sitting that is the difficult part.)

The “breakdown” year is behind me. What is staring me in the face is a big sign in my mind’s eye. It says: DISCIPLINE! A picture flashes after that frame. It is Jesus gathering the children to sit with him – even on his lap. He is saying “Let the little children come to me.” And suddenly I want to be right there, folded in his arms like a child who hears that sentence and feels his arms around me for the confidence to sit with him.

May we find that confidence to approach this scene and sit today – or visit a church or sing a hymn or approach the throne of God. Whatever works to begin this new year with desire, conviction…discipline, born of love (no matter our slow start) will surely bring us back to our best selves where Christ is waiting in joy.