Sr. Dot Trosclair’s New Year’s Resolution was published in the Clarion Herald on January 7, 2023.
She ministers as the Director of the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Spirituality Center.
As I stand at the beginning of 2023, there are many areas of my life that I wish would be different.
I remind myself that polarization in our church and the world is not a new phenomenon. Theological study, church and world history have all taught me that nothing is permanent in life but change.
I am often reminded of a quote from Rosemary Haughton, a teacher of mine at Boston College, who said that “new life often emerges from the cracks.”
I see a lot of cracks in our ecclesial and political life. If I allow myself tp look only at the cracks, I am certain to be swallowed up by them. If I deny the cracks, I could become angry and defensive. However, if I look at the life emerging from the cracks, I see new life and I feel hopeful.
How do I keep the balance of acknowledging the polarization and not allowing myself to be dominated by it? My day begins by asking God that all I am and do give God praise.
Before dawn I pray with the readings of the day, asking God to help me hear how I am to live this day. My day is spent by trying to live what I have heard in my early morning prayer.
As I listen to others throughout the day, I try to be respectful, and even though we may not agree, I desire to see them as made in God’s image, and that I am called to love them. I like to look at the cracks throughout the day and see what might be emerging literally and figuratively. God is full of surprises if I but open my eyes to see.
Reviewing a different perspective keeps me in balance. Reading opens me to learn new things and to understand things I already know in a different way.
I am currently reading “All Oppression Will Cease” by Jesuit Father Chris Kellerman and am seeing anew the incongruity between the Gospel and the Church’s history regarding slavery. I so appreciate this scholarly work. It helps me to look in the cracks and see how new life might be emerging wherever there is a contemporary type of exclusion in our ecclesial and political structures.
Watching the news on different channels allows me to see news from different perspectives. Reading and listening to opinions different from my own calls me to pray with a Gospel perspective. Seeing the comical aspects of everyday life helps me to laugh, which is good for the soul.
A nightly examen helps me to give thanks to God and to recognize where I could have been more present to God in my service to others. Using the “Reimagining the Ignatian Examen” app on my iPad offers a creative way to look at my day, plan for the next and ask for the grace I need.
I will be looking for new life emerging from the cracks and allowing the God of Hope to continue to use me to build the Reign of God. I long for the balance of hope during this chaotic time of 2023 and beyond.