By Mary Ellen Mahoney
How many times have you heard people complain about the end of the year and how busy they are? From Thanksgiving onward, many feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities and busyness of the season. As much as everyone loves Christmas and New Year’s, there are a good portion of people who feel rushed to just get through it all. This is very, very sad.
Not only is yearend filled with time to joyously celebrate being with our families and the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but it also provides us with the opportunity to take stock of our year as it concludes. Amidst all of the activities, Masses and gatherings, it is worthwhile to carve out some quiet time of reflection. I know many of you are reading this saying to yourselves, “Time for me to relax and reflect? Ha!”
We need to make this time part of our yearend routine because it allows us to really appreciate how we as people have progressed through the year. When we quietly review our year, we will remember many wonderful events, special transitions, amazing accomplishments, as well as the sadder events in life, loss and disappointment. But in them all, we will see, if we take the time to quiet ourselves, the love of Jesus Christ- the support He gave us to achieve the good and deal with the bad.
Once we have been able to consider the events of the past year, it is also useful to take an inventory of our financial health. Have you been able to meet your expenses with ease or do you need to reevaluate and perhaps adjust your budge accordingly? Have you supported your favorite charity by donating your time and talent or provided monetary support to the organization to carry out its mission? Have you found these involvements to be worthwhile and do you want to become more involved, perhaps by volunteering for a ministry or making a planned gift to your Parish or the Diocese? We cannot even begin to make plans for our future until we evaluate our past. We need to prioritize our goals and determine how our time, talent and treasure can best allow us to meet our goals. All of this begins within the quiet of contemplation.
And last but not least, don’t let the year end without celebrating what you and Jesus have accomplished together! All the good you have done, all the people you have touched, all the love you have given, all of this must be celebrated! Whatever the New Year brings your way, right now, you can pause for a bit, take stock of what has been and praise where you stand now.
If you feel inclined to make a gift now before the year ends or plan for a gift to be made during the New Year or far into the future, please contact Mary Ellen Mahoney, Executive Director of Development at email@example.com or (860) 886-1928 ext. 13. Mary Ellen is available to help you to make a gift to your Parish, the Diocese, a Diocesan ministry or to establish an endowment with the Catholic Foundation as well.