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Dear Sacred Heart & St. Mary on the Lake

Thank God ahead of time!

Ready or not, 2023 is upon us. The goal everyone has on

New Year’s is to start on the right foot, so we can set a good tone

and direction for the year. An integral practice to this is setting

resolutions. Resolutions are typically all about things that we

plan on doing this year to be better people—lose weight, be more

patient, be less of a jerk to people, pray more, forgive those who

have hurt us, love more, etc. Those are indeed laudable and

encouraged. We also all know how hard it is to persevere in such


This year I want to turn to the example of one of our local saints, Blessed Solanus Casey, who served in Detroit for many years. Thousands of people would visit him at St. Bonaventure

Monastery asking for prayers. Many miraculous healings took place during those visits.

One of his famous sayings was “Thank God ahead of time.” Fr. Joseph Mary Elder, OFM Cap. recounted a story: “In

1940, the Fanning parents from Dearborn, Michigan, came to Fr. Solanus Casey worried about the health of their daughter

Elizabeth, who was sick with leukemia. Fr. Solanus urged them to thank God for all the good he had done and was sure to do for

them and their daughter. A few days later, Elizabeth was completely healed from her leukemia.”

Two encouragements help us enter into this year well.

1. Say “Yes” ahead of time to what God has planned. It is a beautiful act of faith to say: Jesus you are loving, you are faithful, you promise we never walk alone. No matter what happens that doesn’t change. Jesus, I want what you want for this year and I surrender to You. If we start here (which requires us spending time in prayer for the new year), we start on the right foot.

2. Choose one thing! We cannot do a complete makeover of our person. Practically speaking, we have to start with one thing and we work on that. It is one good step at a time. Paul challenges us: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9). One thing at a time to walk more closely with God this year. Choose it and strive to live it well.

Happy New Year!

Fr. Todd

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