January 7-9, 2000
volume 11, no. 5

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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister equates the beginning of the new millennium with God's great Mercy in as much as it was crisis-free. But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods; rather we should be ever mindful of His Mercy and Love and be constantly aware that we are here temporarily. For we don't know when God will decide to call us Home. That is His will alone. With that in mind Sister reminds us to think about that when we awake and just before we repose at night. By living His commandments and striving to do His Will, we can be assured we'll have nothing to fear when that inevitable time does come. By living His Will that great moment will allow us to celebrate like it's 9999 for we'll live well beyond that forever in eternity by living this brief moment on earth according to how our Creator wants. That is the gist of her brief first column for 2000 entitled "Safe Beginnings."

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy by e-mail.

    The year 2,000 began safely around the world. At least for the most part! There were no major computer glitches that turned electricity off for many thousands; no breakdowns in bank computers and the stock market, etc.

    For this safe beginning of a New Year and new millennium, we give thanks to God, Who protected us from great problems.

    I was a bit surprised myself! I certainly did not judge that the world was going to end or that there would be major disasters all over the world. After all, people love their wallets too much to be careless about not being up "to snuff."

    However, I did expect something unfortunate happening somewhere, especially in the Third World countries. According to the news media, however, little to nothing has happened that could be of major concern.

    God, in His Fatherly mercy, has brought us into the new millennium and into the Church's Holy Year in safety. It is appropriate, then, for us to thank God and to continue to work on our own conversion, our prayer-life, our relationship with God in general, and our relationship with one another in particular.

    In the "old days," the Sisters of Mercy used to observe the first Sunday of the month as a day of retreat to prepare for our deaths. This may seem a bit morose, but actually, it was a good practice.

    Someone once wrote: "When you get up in the morning, consider that you may not live until evening. And when you go to bed at night , consider that you may not awake in the morning." This constant reminder that eternity is our end, should keep us honest and faithful and help us keep in mind that we do not have here a lasting home.

    So just as we might begin our morning remembering that we are on earth for only a time, let us begin the New Year remembering the same. Not for the purpose of being morose, but for the purpose of facing reality, where good mental health is.

    Let us never become so complacent that we take this life for granted; that we live as though we shall be on this earth forever. Our earthly life is short and it is a time of proving and testing. If we pass the test of the Two Great Commandments: Love of God and neighbor, we shall live happily in eternity. Fail the test and eternity of misery awaits.

    So, to all of my readers, I wish you not only a Happy New Year, but a GRACE-FILLED one. A New Year in which God becomes more REAL in your lives; that you see more clearly how strong and great is His Love for you so that you will be readier to respond to His Love and love Him more generously in return.

    Peace and God's Blessings for as long as you have in this millennium!


January 7-9, 2000
volume 11, no. 5

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