It’s always tempting to rush into a New Year headlong, with many plans to fix and better ourselves and the world around us. But the past year has been a hard one for many of us. We didn’t wake up on 1 January to find the world was fixed, and sometimes the headlines can feel utterly overwhelming.
In 2022, instead of making big resolutions to fix, improve and change, we’re taking lessons from the wonderful Missio family and what they have shared with us in the past year to stand us in good stead for the new one.
A good start
‘Walk humbly with your God’ – Micah 6:8
If you are feeling weighed down with life, headlines and everything, it’s a good idea to get outside and look up. Even counting chimney pots has been shown to help improve mood and positivity (it encourages you to look up!), but we suggest a step further: why not take prayer walk? Walking lifts the spirits and also makes space to be in prayer with God. Find a route which makes you feel positive. Choose a scripture passage to focus on, or take your Mission Rosary with you and focus on a particular continent while you walk.
Spend time with Mary
‘Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? … Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything’ – Our Lady to St Juan Diego
In troubled times, Mother Mary is always with us, ready to hear what’s in our hearts and intercede for us. Fr Michael, who has shared his missionary journey in Malaysia with us throughout 2021 also shared about his special relationship with the Rosary. He says:
‘Praying the Rosary every day provides me with the spiritual energy, courage and confidence to stand firm in my priestly life… knowing that whatever I ask Mother Mary while reciting the Rosary will be heard makes me so peaceful and happy’.
The Mission Rosary is a beautiful way to pray for the world, focusing on one continent at a time. Find our Mission Rosary focus here or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get our weekly prayer intentions for each of the five continents.
Do small things
‘Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love’ – St Therese of Lisieux
It’s undeniable that the world’s problems are huge. But so is the number of people who want to help fix them. Many of us aren’t called to huge and sweeping acts, but, like St Therese of Lisieux, we can do small things with great love and so support and encourage the kingdom of God here on earth.
In December, Red Box collector Linda shared the story of the Nativity Scene she puts up in her window every year during Advent. She told us:
It’s only a small thing, but I always think: You never know. You never know when a small act will inspire someone or give them hope. My contribution is just a little bit, but it’s lots of little bits that add up to big changes’.
We’re firm believers that small things that add up! It’s been 200 years since our founder, Pauline Jaricot, first organised a penny collection among the poor factory workers of Lyon in France. Each person gave just one penny a week and prayed for the missions.
Now we are a global missionary family, igniting God’s love through practical and spiritual help in over 1,070 mission dioceses. Every penny, pound and prayer you share with Missio truly makes a world of difference. We give thanks for small acts every day.
In the midst of a troubled and divided world, we have nonetheless witnessed God incarnate. In a lowly stable over 2000 years ago, angels sang, and heaven rejoiced. Every year since humankind has celebrated that moment of pure joy again.
Joy is easy to dismiss as a frivolous emotion, but we know, from witnessing such inspiring communities as Fr Noah’s school in war-torn Cameroon that it is a form of resilience and strength. Their Christmas singing filled us with joy and showed us the hope that God’s infinite love can spark.
In the third week of Advent, Sr Gabriel of the Poor Clares in Arundel shared this message with us:
‘We are a people of faith, a missionary people, and we have a song in our hearts to sing… We know that if we put our faith in the right place… in the God who loves us and comes to dwell with us, then we’ll have all we need to give our wholehearted “yes”!’
This year, we hope you can take a moment to find joy each day, in whatever form that takes for you!
Everything changes – and that’s not a bad thing.
Christmas may seem over, but we know it never is. Because after the decorations have been packed away and we all return to work, we know that Christ is with us, and will never leave us again. Watch our short reflection to get 2022 off to a hopeful start.
In 2022, there is much work to be done, and plenty to worry about. But with God’s help, we can slow down, breathe and gather our strength to each continue our personal mission. Because as much as there are really big challenges facing us, there is also time and space for hope, love and joy.
We wish you a joyful and hope-filled 2022!