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Begin Again - Saint and Word for 2023!

Each new year, our family has the tradition of praying to the Holy Spirit to help choose a patron saint for the year and a word for the year. The idea came many years ago after reading St. Faustina's diary and discovering that she and her fellow nuns had this custom.

On the occasion of the new year in 1935, St. Faustina wrote: "Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life. And He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can be hidden. There is a custom among us of drawing by lot on New Year's Day, special patrons for ourselves for the whole year..."

Years ago we came across the random "Saint Generator", by Jen Fulwiler. She is a former programmer and put this together for the world to use for free. We have had a lot of fun and anticipation hitting that little button and seeing which saint chooses us. This year, instead of doing this on New Year's Eve, we did it when the majority of the kids were home over Christmas so we could all be together. I wrote everyone's saint and word in our 2023 planner so it's easy to find. Last year, my husband started to add our saints to our family litany at the end of our daily rosary. This has been such a blessing and over time, everyone has everyone else's saint memorized!

This year, St. Margaret Fontana popped on the screen for me. I looked her up and was moved by what her biographer said about her: Margaret was "meek and humble as a lamb...simple and pure as a dove, sparing in words, but honest and wise whenever she did speak. She rose in the night not only to recite the divine office, but also to spend much time in her own devotions." I will call on St. Margaret Fontana to help me grow in humility, personal devotion, and to be precise and loving in my speech....things I can definitely use some help with!

When it comes to the "word of the year", I like to discern this quietly, asking the Holy Spirit to place a word or phrase on my heart to help me grow in holiness in the year to come. This year, the phrase LOOK UP kept coming to me in prayer and through various means. I wasn't totally convinced that this is what God wanted for me, so I turned to Jen's Word of the Year Generator and asked the Holy Spirit to either confirm or deny "look up". I clicked the little button and the word "HIGHER" popped on the screen. Definitely confirmed! Alrighty...I am going to LOOK UP HIGHER in 2023; not to the left or to the right or in front of or behind me. To me, this ties in so perfectly with my Foundation and Rule of Life the more I have been praying about it. It's pretty amazing how God totally cares about these little things and gives us what we need to grow in holiness...just keep moving forward with our eyes fixed on Him.

I encourage you to find your Saint of the Year and your Word of the Year to give you some inspiration to live fully and grow into the person God has made you to be. we go!

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