On the Spot with Margaret Ann Jacobs, National President

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“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more … and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! …” (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)
What illumination has come to us over this sacred Christmas time? Can we honestly say that we have had a change of heart, mind, soul like Mr. Scrooge? I pray that this is so, that you also have learned “how to keep Christmas well” and that this may continue to be said of us throughout 2017.
At this time of year we naturally look back and reflect on our past year, our accomplishments and successes. We think about the retreats, conferences, workshops and conventions that were so inspiring; the various activities undertaken during our Jubilee Year of Mercy; the resolutions work, government lobbying and monitoring and actual meetings with MPs, senators and advisors; the petitions that were circulated and presented; the pro-active manner that we promoted palliative care through our 12 hours of prayer; and the manner that the new annual reporting system was embraced and undertaken… We have cause to be proud!

The New Year has traditionally been a time for making resolutions – you know, things like: lose weight; exercise more; establish a budget; set goals etc. Could we use these fine aspirations for developing a fresh outlook on our League work? Maybe instead of losing weight we could lose the weight of anger, impatience, bitterness or prejudice; maybe we could exercise greater sensitivity to the plight of others, deepen our compassion, understanding and mercy; maybe our budget could include prioritizing time for family, friends, neighbours who need extra care; maybe the goals we establish could include a plan for personal enrichment, effort to develop new (CWL) skills, or making a commitment to a new outreach project. Whatever we resolve to do, it will require thoughtful consideration, careful planning and an understanding that each new step will require our full commitment and that even if we slip, we need to continue to review our progress and resolve to renew our commitment to achieve our goals.

Let us consider all the ways we can envision and create a future of possibilities where our hopes and aspirations for the League can become reality.
Let us dream big in 2017!

As League members let us resolve to:

  • Ponder the new theme “Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call”. Consider how we will be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit in our personal and public life.
  • Be co-operative, supportive, loving, joy filled and enthusiastic council members. WOW!
  • Contribute and initiate ideas that are new, fresh and dynamic.
  • Provide (or participate in) educational opportunities for spiritual growth and renewal. In January we celebrate special feasts – Mary, Mother of God; Epiphany; Baptism of Our Lord, Day of Prayer for Legal Protection of Unborn Children, Conversion of St. Paul; Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Theme for 2017: “Reconciliation – the love of Christ compels us”) … Why not plan a special activity to highlight one of these special events and invite all members of your parish family/community?
  • Renew our commitment to live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, maybe focus on a different work of mercy each month.
  • Allow our kindness and goodness to touch the lives of all we encounter.
  • Be faithful to the Gospel message – resolve to love one another even those whom we find unlovable.
  • Practice humility and self-control.
This is a time for new beginnings. Together let us do as St. Teresa of Calcutta has invited us to do … something beautiful for God.
“And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” (ibid)
Happy New Year!
Margaret Ann Jacobs
National President