Monday, January 7, 2013

What is Your Word for 2013?

Here is what I wrote last year:  What is Your Word for 2012?

I wrote then: 
For several years I've followed the example of some friends in choosing a word or motto for the year.    I usually start praying right after Christmas and by the New Year I have some idea of what my word or motto will be.   Often God shows me through reading or in some other way what He wants me to be aware of.  It is a great blessing!
This year, I wasn't coming  up with anything, so I have been praying about it  The thing is, I have recently found something that works in my daily life, but it isn't really something I can put into words.  I've tried.    In fact, I have been afraid that if I did try to write down words about it, it would go away, because the inadequate words would take the place of the thing.   It is more of a feeling or intuition that I get in flashes when I read the daily Opus Dei message.  But though it manifests only in flashes like that, it is somehow present enough to be like a watermark on the day, an insignia, but even more, like something I can follow.

Anyway, the 2013 word finally came up when I was looking up 1 John 3:2.  
Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.
It is :

Beloved, or as some translations have it:  "dear friends"

In the Vulgate
it is "carissimi" as in:

Carissimi, nunc filii Dei sumus: et nondum apparuit quid erimus. Scimus quoniam cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus: quoniam videbimus eum sicuti est.
That sounds like a superlative version of "loved ones", like "very dearly loved ones".

In the Greek it is ἀγαπητοί which seems to mean something like "dear ones"... it comes from the word agape, meaning love in the sense of God's love.

A lot of the epistles use this language of "friends" or "beloved" or "dear ones" and I've ignored it through the years because it was so familiar.  It even has been cheapened as every cliched televangelist intones "dearly beloved"... But suddenly it resonated with me as personal, addressed to me by those very saints who died for love of Him who died for us.  And ultimately it reminds me of something I too often have a hard time with --  our Lord's love.  Again, a term so often used that to someone brought up in the Christian tradition, it becomes ordinary.   But seriously, a God who loves enough to "become a slave"; like an amazing fairy tale, only true. 

 I don't think about that enough, so "beloved" reminds me of this shocking but completely evident reality.  

The picture above is of the Chartres Cathedral north window.    Aidan found it yesterday.  He wanted me to Google "Mass" (which means Catholic churches, to him, and only the most beautiful or distinctive attract him -- none of this 60's and 70's liturgical hodgepodge for him).  Then after browsing for a while, he said that he wanted to search for "Mass windows".   When we brought up the series of stained glass cathedral windows, he lighted on that one immediately.  Good call.    If I forget what my 2013 word means to me I just have to go and look at that picture for a while and it will come back.

If you have chosen a word for 2013, please leave a comment or link to your post!  I would love to see it! 


  1. I love it! My word sounds rather ordinary, it is 'Order' meant to represent not just order in our day to day, but in relationships, faith etc

  2. My word is Mercy.

  3. I love it! (and only a little because it's what my name means, lol). I think it's a great word. Mine this year is "model" - . I need to BE what I want my kids to be, instead of my usual fall back of "do as I say and not as I do". Way too many times this year I would hear word coming out of my mouth that I *know* I needed to hear much more than the kids did!

  4. Interesting word choice, Willa. Is it bad that I cannot focus enough to hear God speaking a word to me?

    Since I am knee-deep in full-time job responsibilities.....that make me nervous.....I was thinking courage or brave.....but it does not feel right.

    COPE.....maybe that is all I can do right now. :)

    Maybe YOU should pray for God to tell you a word for me....... ;)

    Let me know what he says......


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