Usually, just at this time, a good deal of fun is poked at “good resolutions.” The reason for this is of course that so often even a few days of the New Year find our resolutions already broken. And for two causes:
(1) We load ourselves down with too many resolutions.
(2) We fail to fit our resolutions into the working rhythm of our life.
Let us not be discouraged. Our Christian way always offers a chance for a new start. Here is Epiphany coming — a season most sympathetic toward our humanity, our need for God to be made plain. Our Lord is in His cradle; a little child looking up trustingly to mankind — to us, ready for what we may do.
We know Him now for our Lord, our King, our Savior. But still he is just a little lowly child. The three kings bowed themselves down to His lowliness. That is, they knelt and offered their gifts.
Why not exactly imitate the wise men? Why not fit into the rhythm of every day, something we really can do? Never mind how simple and childlike a thing it is. One must be simple and childlike with a child. You are doing this before the Holy Child. He will accept it. He will be glad for it. He will give you his answer.
There are just 34 days in the Epiphany season of 1936. I am resolved upon one thing — and that just for Epiphany, and not looking any further into the year. It is this:
Three times a day I will kneel down. If I can, I will try to see my Lord Jesus as a little child in the Blessed Virgin’s arms, or with St. Joseph, or in his cradle. I will bow before him and hold out my hands as if offering a gift. I will try to have some gift there for him. It may be a letter I have written or a piece of work I have done. It may be a good thought or a sense of thanks. It may be the aching or strain I feel in my soul or in my limbs or feet, because I have traveled a long way. It may be a change of mind, my decision not to do some unworthy thing anymore. It may be a kind word or deed I plan to give.
It may be that all I can do many a time will be just to kneel. But I can do that, can’t I? Just kneel?
And I hope that as I kneel I shall always be able to say with my lips and in my heart
My Lord Jesus,
I believe thee,
I worship thee,
I love thee.
But perhaps I shall be traveling, or unable to have any privacy. Then I will kneel in the hidden place of my heart, in my thought.
And I will try to do this throughout the 34 days of his Epiphany. Many times I hope that I may find an open church where I may kneel.
And I will keep this thought in mind when I am tempted to break my resolution: “If you can’t do anything else this time, you can at least kneel.”
For more background on Ada Loaring-Clarke (she is quite interesting!),
including the above reading, please click here.