Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Eve, Time for Reflection

We are into the seventh day of Christmas. This year, it falls on New Year's eve. It is a day spent in different ways which include a day of reflection, a day to give thanks to God for the year past and the coming of the new year.

New Year's Eve, along with its innocent gaiety, is really a day for serious reflection. It is true that for the Christian the real beginning of the year takes place with the First Sunday in Advent, and the children should be taught to make their annual day of recollection before that Sunday, which celebrates the New Year of grace. However, on the eve of the civil New Year as well the children may join their parents in a holy hour, in prayer and thanksgiving for the gifts and benefits which God has given them in the past year, and pray for necessary graces in the forthcoming civil year.

Today we also commemorate the feast of St. Sylvester — bishop of Rome in 314. In Europe, the last day of the year is named after him and is fittingly called "Sylvester". Constantine gave him the Lateran Palace, which became the cathedral church of Rome. Many legends exist about Sylvester. He supposedly cured Constantine from leprosy and later baptized him on his deathbed. He was pope for twenty four years during the reign of Constantine.

(Catholic Culture)


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