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As We Begin Anew: from the Roman Catholic Tradition

January 5, 2018

I have a deep appreciation of the Roman Catholic Church.

They welcomed me as an exchange student to their St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana.

One of my favorite classes ever was History of Christian Thought at our United Methodist seminary at Emory University in Atlanta. (It was taught by the inimitable Dr. Bill Mallard…who actually asked me in the middle of a conversation while standing in line at a bank if I’d be a Colloquy Leader in his class the following year… of course I said yes.) As you might guess, much of our History of Christian Thought is rooted in Roman Catholicism.

I have come to greatly appreciate that the Roman Catholic Church is our faith family of origin, our forebears, and our siblings in Christ. We need to encourage one another. Last time I checked, we’re all on the same team.

Sharing ministry with several priests, most recently with Fr. Ralph in Effingham (IL), has been a gift.

So it should come as no surprise that this prayer* comes from the Roman Catholic tradition and is a favorite of mine —

God, thank you for a new year.

May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate.

We know that you are always ready to forgive us. Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.

As we begin a new calendar year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires.

Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do.

Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.

— And all the people of God say Amen, right?




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