Give the New Year to Our Lady

By Chris Sparks

We’ve had some hard times these past few years. So let us look ahead to 2022 and see what we can do to make it a truly blessed year.

For starters, of course, the best thing is to celebrate with fervor the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, which falls on Jan. 1 each year (even though in 2022, since it's a Saturday, it’s not a holy day of obligation — but it is First Saturday). It’s also the World Day of Peace.

Mary, Mother of God, bringer of the Prince of Peace, she through whom God entered the world — of course the new year should be placed into her care. The birth of a new year comes as we are still in the Christmas season, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the birth of a new order of grace in the world. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and she is the one through whom He comes. If the presence of God to Moses through the burning bush made the ground there holy, how much more holy must the Blessed Mother be, who bore God in her womb for nine full months? And if the presence of God makes a place holy, how awesomely holy must her arms have been, she who held God close for years as any mother holds her child? And how holy must her cheek have been, that Jesus would have kissed? How holy is this woman in all aspects, all of her, who was the Ark of the New Covenant for so long, bearing Holiness Himself?

Mary, the Mother of God, will help her children to make the New Year a holy one. We are the members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and Jesus has entrusted to us significant responsibility for the salvation of our brethren, along with the gifts, fruits, and charisms of the Holy Spirit we need in order to meet those responsibilities. This is the lesson taught to us by the Immaculate Conception: The Law of the Gospel can only be lived by the grace of God. Our natural (fallen, wounded) human nature is dramatically insufficient to the challenge of supernatural goodness, of the perfection and excellence to which we are called. Only by God’s grace can we truly, perfectly live love of God and neighbor.

This is both a challenge and a relief. It’s a challenge because it tells us that we, too, can become like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; we, too, can become the face of the Father’s mercy in the world. But it’s a relief because it tells us that we can’t do it on our own. There’s no such thing as a Christian who has lifted themselves up by their own bootstraps, no self-made men in the kingdom of Heaven. Every human person who enters Heaven gets there on Divine Mercy, on charity, on grace. We are blessed by God’s grace almost in spite of ourselves, in spite of our sins, in spite of our concupiscence, our tendency to sin.


There’s no such thing as a Christian who has lifted themselves up by their own bootstraps, no self-made men in the kingdom of Heaven. Every human person who enters Heaven gets there on Divine Mercy, on charity, on grace. We are blessed by God’s grace almost in spite of ourselves, in spite of our sins, in spite of our concupiscence, our tendency to sin. And so we can look with confidence to the year ahead.


And so we can look with confidence to the year ahead. We can know that we are insufficient to the challenges to come, but that God’s grace is more than sufficient. We can be certain that no matter what happens, on the other side of Calvary is the Resurrection; on the other side of suffering is grace; on the other side of death is life eternal. 

All this and more is taught to us by Our Lady, Mother of God and Mother of the Church. She labors even now to bring saints into being, to assist through her prayers and her love to bring grace into the hearts and the lives of all of us. Let us aid her in her work. Let us take up the daily Rosary for peace in the world, practice the First Saturdays devotion, and make our total consecration to Jesus through Mary. Let us share the love of Our Lady with our friends and neighbors, beginning with our families, ensuring everyone has a Rosary and making it a habit to give images of Our Lady on special occasions such as when people receive the Sacraments of Initiation. 

Let us make 2022 a Marian year, and in so doing, make sure it’s a good, blessed year.

Mary, Mother of God and Help of Christians, pray for us! 

Chris Sparks serves as senior book editor for the Marian Fathers. He is the author of the Marian Press book How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question.

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