National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Beautiful Blessings

The new year is upon us — the perfect time to reflect on blessings.

BY Amy Smith

Associate Editor

Dec. 29, 2013-Jan. 11, 2014 Issue | Posted 12/19/13 at 4:01 PM


The new year is upon us — the perfect time to reflect on blessings.

Like comfort and joy ... the comfort of little things, like enjoying a good cup of coffee. Extra time spent with family. Pretty flowers. Beautiful, colorful sunsets painting the night sky.

And joy: "With Christ, joy is constantly born anew," Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).

"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." So said Pope John Paul II, whose upcoming canonization is a blessing to us all.

And feeling blessed because of kindness: "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart" (the wisdom of the wonderful Jane Austen).

And because of the intercession of Mother Mary (I love the Memorare).

I feel blessed by the answered prayers from this past year and those to come in the new year. God is good! My prayer is that you feel blessed, too.

Ultimately, Jesus gives us hope and beautiful blessings.

As the Holy Father said to end the Year of Faith: "Christ is the center of the history of the human race and of every man and woman. To him we can bring the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and troubles which are part of our lives. When Jesus is the center, light shines even amid the darkest times of our lives; he gives us hope."

That’s the most beautiful blessing of all.

Amy Smith is the

Register’s associate editor.