Tonight is New Year's Eve, and I am yawning already.
For everybody else who will ring in the new year, go ahead and stay up late, bang all the pots and pans you want, and by all means, dance!
But please, do everyone a favor and A: go easy on the bubbly; B: don't even think of getting behind the wheel if you've had a drink.
And before stepping out with the Mummers or settling in for wall-to-wall college football, remember to go to Mass. (Here's a directory to parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, many of which have Mass times and web sites).
Thursday isn't Sunday, but it is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. What better way to start the new year than by worshiping God the Father and honoring Mary? She is the mother of Jesus, true God and true man, and our mother too.
Her "yes" to bear the son of God teaches a lesson no more valuable than these troubling times entering 2009. The best way to deal with the difficulties that lie ahead is to say yes to God's will for our lives each day, starting today, right now.
God has a plan for each of us. It unfolds every day even amid the weaknesses and sins of this life. The key is not to lose heart but trust in God's grace to help us fulfill his plan and vocation for each of us.
That's why the Church is so important in this journey: the font of graces through the sacraments and the support of our fellow Catholic pilgrims help us live the Christian life today, until we meet our God and Father ultimately in heaven.
With Mary as our guide and helper, the first day of a new year is the right time to renew a life of holiness. And don't forget to enjoy the world again on January 1. There are still more reasons for joy than sadness.