reflecting, wisdom

Word for the Year

If you’d like, google “choosing a word for the year.” It’s a thing! And when Google comes through – which it always does – you’ll be directed to 529,000,000 results! I hope that you are closer to knowing what word you’d like than one out of 529,000,00! If not, you might want to wait until next year.

I’m not ready to wait. I took part in an hour long time of reflection during Advent, the liturgical season that leads to Christmas. The spiritual director that led the time of reflection – attended by participants from many countries – suggested we choose a word for the year. I’d known about this practice – a centering practice, to return us to ourselves when the activities of life seem overwhelming – for many years, but I expect that I was not ready to choose a word for the year – until now.

Finding the word was not difficult for me, but I recall a story – a scene from a movie – that relates to my word. Cher stars in the 1987 movie, “Moonstruck.” It’s a good movie. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth an evening of your time! I can recall the story line, and the faces of the characters, although not always their names. What I do recall, the scene that has stayed with me for all the years since I saw “Moonstruck” for the first time (it had to be in a movie theater then, not on my computer, like now), is the scene when Cher goes to Confession. She’s a good Catholic girl from an Italian family, and she and the priest know one another well, although they are hid from one another in the confessional booth. So she begins her confession, and she quickly rattles off a series of “sins” – and quickly drops into the middle of her list of sins: “I slept with the brother of my fiancé.” The priest stops her; what was that??? She repeats her sin: “I slept with the brother of my fiancé.”

The priest responds: “Reflect on your life.”

Choose your word for the year. Write it down. Keep it with you – in your mind and heart.

Happy New Year!

City Street in Autumn, photo by Mary Elyn Bahlert, 11/17/2022, Piedmont Avenue

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