If I do not commit this to writing, I will lose the resolution until sometime in March when I remember it again. There is a young woman that I have had the privilege of becoming friends with through Justin, she is an extraordinary person and I have been blessed by her friendship.  She had shared with me how she chooses a saint each year to focus on, learn about, pray with, to really get to know them. That practice intrigued me and I wanted to do that this January, here it is the 24th…I am a bit late. Then I read another blog post where someone chooses a single word to explore all year, I really liked that idea also.

I looked up from my computer screen last night and my eyes fell on the most beautiful icon of St. Padre Pio that a very dear friend gifted me with this Christmas. The blues of the icon are are so deep and his countenance so kindly.  Across the bottom of the icon is scripted his frequently quoted maxim, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

And I thought…“there you go…both saint and word.” I shall ask Padre Pio to be my particular companion for 2012 and I shall focus on the word “hope.” Each day I shall endeavor to deepen my knowledge, both head and heart, of just what hope is and try very hard to apply it each day.

A quick cursory glance at my concordance lists the word hope 41 times in the New Testament and I think a second read of the Holy Father’s encyclical “Spe Salvi, Saved in Hope” is in order.  Justin would bring home copies of the newest encyclicals for Doug and I.  I always wrote and highlighted in my copy, Doug  teases me about “coloring” in my books.  We miss Justin so much, it gets no easier as each day passes, you are ever aware of his absence.

This is good, for as I am writing I see that the word “hope” will also define my reading goals for 2012.  I have an impressive stack or two of unread books and a focus on the word hope could quickly order the stacks from burdensome to an adventure in grace.

Right now I have to go have an adventure in laundry…talk about impressive stacks, and as I write the puppy just helped himself to my mug of soup that I had beside me…he is fond of anything he likes.  I look up at Padre Pio again, the light is catching the icon and he makes me smile…pray, hope and don’t worry.