A happy and blessed New Year to all from all of us here in the Office of Vocations! Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, always marked the beginning of a new year by writing a circular letter to the community. In celebration of the start of 2011, we are posting an excerpt from one of these circular letters, dating from January 4, 1845. May the ringing in of this New Year be, as Blessed Moreau urges us, a time to overcome any spiritual complacency and pursue with ever greater zeal our vocations.
How true it is, O God, that our life passes like a shadow, and that its moments are like drops of water which fall to the earth and disappear in its depths. Consequently, we must hasten to make better use of our days than ever before, in order to make amends for anything in the past which could have impeded the action of divine Providence on our new-born association. Our duty for the present is to seize upon everything which can contribute to realizing God’s designs in our regard, and to see now what reasons we have for hope or fear in the future.
These, my dear sons and daughters in Jesus Christ, are the thoughts which well up within my mind as I behold the end of one year and the beginning of another. They are, indeed, very serious thoughts, and well do they deserve each one’s careful meditation, particularly since we are in greater need than ever before of renewing ourselves in the spirit of our vocation. Let us not forget that the development of the work entrusted to us depends upon our acceptance of the inspirations of grace and our fidelity in seconding the designs of divine Providence. For the future, then, far from dwelling with vain complacency on any success achieved thus far, let us humble ourselves for the hindrances which we may have placed, even inadvertently, in the way of still greater success, and let us strive with complete self‑distrust to consolidate and perfect what has begun.