A New Year's Prayer

"Response: God, surprise us again.
When we miss the beauty and the joy of earth's goodness. . .
When we grow too accustomed to life's busyness. . .
When the goodness of others gets lost in the rush. . .
When our frailty outruns our strength. . .
When the hope in our heart fades away. . .
When the call to serve others loses its flavor. . .
When we search for the way home to you. . .
When loneliness pursues us. . .
When it seems the darkness will never give way to the light. . .
When the ache of the world wears our compassion thin. . .
When the troubles of others seem more than we can carry. . .
When even you seem far away from us. . .
Response: Walk closely with us, God.
As we strive to live our lives well. . .
As we enjoy the treasures we've found in the field of faith. . .
As we continue to surrender ourselves to you. . .
As we journey into the unknown territory of a new year. . .
As we hurt in the process of loving our enemies. . .
As we learn to accept our weaknesses and our strengths. . .
As we open our hearts to the messengers you send to us. . .
As we stay faithful to our relationship with you. . .
As we give ourselves to the poor and the powerless. . .
As we keep searching for the truth. . .
As we try to live in the heart of the scriptures. . .
As we accept your constant love for us. . .

Closing Prayer

"God of this new year, we are walking into mystery. We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring to us or how we will respond. Be love in us as we journey. May we welcome all who come our way. Deepen our faith to see all of life through your eyes. Fill us with hope and an abiding trust that you dwell in us amidst our joys and sorrows. Thank you for the treasure of our faith life. Thank you for the gift of being able to rise each day with the assurance of your walking through the day with us. God of this new year, we praise you. Amen.

A New Year's Blessing

"May your inner vision be transformed so that you can see more clearly your own journey with all humankind as a journey of peace, hope, and bondedness (Nm 24:15-17; Jn 20:20).

"May your God be someone you can lean on in your weak or painful moments. May you know God as your rock, your shelter, your strength, your wing of comfort and support (Ps 94:18).

"May you be aware of all the places your feet carry you in the new year. May you know 'how beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news' (Rom 10:15).

"May you not be afraid of the questions that press upon your mind and heart. May you welcome the questions and wait patiently for the day when they will have their answers (Mt 11:3).

"May you be the one with welcome in your smile and hello etched upon your hand, the hand you extend to everyone who blesses you with presence (Lk 7:36-50).

"May yours be the gift of reverence for all created things. May you face bravely and enthusiastically the responsibility to preserve and care for the beauty of Earth (Sir 42:15-43:33).

"May the wellsprings of compassion flow deep within you until you can taste the tears of your brothers and sisters (2 Cor 1:3-7).

"May you awake each morning with thank you on your lips and in your heart, recognizing that all is gift, that all is blessing (Ps 138:1).

"May your friendship with God be strong and healthy. May that love be both a comfort and a challenge as you struggle to find your way in the new year (Jn 21:15-19).

"May your spirit be open and perceptive in discovering the will of God for you. May your prayer be that of wisdom, guidance, and a deeper understanding of God's way for you (Lk 1:26-38).

"May your life this new year be a living legacy to your God."