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A Word for the Year

A friend told me that she and her husband decided to choose a word for the year rather than make New Year's resolutions. We were with another friend who is facing some serious medical challenges who quickly said, "I know what my word will be: Hope!" In that moment of sharing there was a connection of love and commitment to joining with our ill friend to surround her with Hope.

What a wonderful way to approach a new year by claiming a word to guide your way.

Appropriately, Henri Nouwen's message yesterday was one of Hope, and I share it here with you.

DAILY MEDITATION | JANUARY 1, 2022 A New Beginning! We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to the voice saying to us: “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!” Imagine. Is it possible that our imagination can lead us to the truth of our lives? Yes, it can! The problem is that we allow our past, which becomes longer and longer each year, to say to us: “You know it all; you have seen it all, be realistic; the future will just be a repeat of the past. Try to survive it as best you can.” There are many cunning foxes jumping on our shoulders and whispering in our ears the great lie: “There is nothing new under the sun... don’t let yourself be fooled.” When we listen to these foxes, they eventually prove themselves right: our new year, our new day, our new hour become flat, boring, dull, and without anything new.

So what are we to do? First, we must send the foxes back to where they belong: in their foxholes. And then we must open our minds and our hearts to the voice that resounds through the valleys and hills of our life saying: “Let me show you where I live among my people. My name is ‘God-with-you.’ I will wipe all the tears from your eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone” (Revelation 21:2–5).

If you would like to sign up for Nouwen's free daily meditations, here is the link.

If you would like to share your word for the year, please respond in the comment box or email me at

...My word is gratitude and I extend it to each of you who walks this pilgrims' journey with me.

Happy Hope filled New Year!


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