Weekend Reflections for 1/5/18
New Years Choosing to be Chosen
Once again we enter the season of New Years Resolutions. Or have you already forgotten, given up, on those choices you made on New Year’s Eve? One of the fundamental graces of our faith is that we are not the ultimate choice makers, God is. And the Christmas season is full of examples of God’s choosing in quite surprising ways, for example, in choosing Mary to be the Mother of God, the feast we celebrate at the start of the New Year.
We busy people like to think that with rational planning, gathering all the facts, projecting out to the future, we can make the right choices in our secular lives. But our Christian faith history shows us again and again that we aren’t the ultimate choosers, God is. Our role is less rational in many ways, not to be the master planners we would like to be in controlling our lives and our world. No, our role, as Ignatius shows us again and again in the Spiritual Exercises, is to ask for the gift, the grace, not so much to choose, but to be chosen. That grace is exemplified over and over again in the scriptures, the faith history of the “chosen” Mother of God, the faith history of the chosen People of God.
Our mentor St. Ignatius gives us a model of how we can move along in this New Year beyond our broken or forgotten “resolutions,” move along in our daily lives, choosing to be chosen. This he does inviting us to the regular prayer of the Awareness Examen. Perhaps this can be the most important “resolution” for all our coming years. You will find a version of this in pages 43 and following of our White House prayer booklet; or by searching the internet for “Awareness Examen” you can find many, many examples of how busy people can grow in finding God in all the things awaiting us in the coming New Year. As Jesus grew older he grew in wisdom and stature, and in grace before God and people (Luke 2:52), daily in discerning God’s gracious calling, choosing to be chosen. He calls us now to choose to be chosen in our daily lives.
Edward B. “Ted” Arroyo, S.J.