“Dum spiro spero”: a pastoral epistle for New Year 2023

Carissimi

“Dum spiro spero” (While I breathe, I hope) was the personal motto inscribed by King Charles I of England in a folio of Shakespeare’s works discovered as one of the last books he read before his execution in 1649. Here in the UK following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we enter 2023 and another Carolingian reign, that of King Charles III in a world filled with uncertainty. Globally we have faced immense challenges over the past year – a pandemic, war, economic hardship, and social divides that have been deepened by politics. The crisis for the Faith in the Church is still extant. These issues remain unresolved, yet there is hope for us who breathe to find new strength and courage to continue forward.

As Christians, we know that hope is never lost. As I write, Catholics and others of goodwill around the world are praying for Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. May his life and example inspire us to continue in faith and hope. As we pray for whatever God wills for him, let us remember the Scripture that reminds us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Let us trust in God’s will for each of us and remember the future He ultimately desires for us all, to be with Him.

The apostle tells us that “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5) This New Year’s Day, let us embrace this hope and use it to guide our lives. Let us also remember that God is with us in every moment and that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is our source of strength and comfort, and He will give us the courage to face whatever comes our way. We can put our trust in Him and know that His love will never fail.

In this New Year, I invite you to join me in reflecting on what is most important in life. Even amidst the difficulties of our current reality, let us remember that God is with us at all times and His love never fails. Let us be filled with gratitude for our blessings – both big and small – and use these gifts to bring hope and healing to our world. Let us also strive to be more mindful of the needs of others and practice compassion towards those who are different from us. Together, let us be an example of God’s love and grace in this New Year.

Let us take this time as an opportunity for growth – not only in our understanding of faith but also in our relationships with one another. We are all called to be ambassadors of peace; may we strive each day to embody this calling through acts of kindness, mercy, and justice. May we use this New Year as a chance to open ourselves up even further to God’s plan for our lives so that He can work through us for His glory!

As we embark on this journey into 2023 together, may the Lord bless you abundantly! Remember it is only while we breathe that we may attain our Christian Hope! May your faith grow stronger every day as you seek Him above all else! Amen!

With my prayers for you all this New Year

I.X.

Brichtelmestunensis
Dominica Infra Octavam Nativitatis MMXXII A.D.

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