For Catholics, today is a Feast Day and holy day of obligation to honor Mary the Mother of God: who is the first example of courage. Today is also the 8th day of Christmas in The Twelve Days of Christmas. Legend has it the song was a lesson for Catholic persecuted in protestant England. The eight Maids a milking are a sign for the eight beatitudes. Today would be a good day to reflect on them.
On my 2006 visit to Israel my wife and I visited and had Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes. I remember our Priests were a little miffed with the little sister who worked there. She was upset with us because it was a warm day and some in our group had taken off their sweaters and their arms were exposed. She was focused on the rules, as Christ pointed out to the Pharisees who were focused on the outside of the cup being clean rather than the inside being clean. Similarly the beatitudes of our Lord seek to not do away with the rules (10 commandments) but points at our inner dispositions. I think Church of the Beatitudes which is a octagon (eight sided) best represents how me should seek to best conform our hearts and our dispositions to be more like that of Christ. On the floor of the Church of the Beatitudes are eight mosaics with words in Latin. They reflect the dispositions of our Lord which we are to emulate.
- Charitas (a heart that burns with love of God and benevolence toward others)
- Prvdentia (forethought or prudence. Those who are Prudent are far from indecisive, for their bold decisions bear no streaks of doubt. Prudence disposes us to have a true care and concern for the health and wellbeing of others)
- Lavs Tibi Christi (Praise God in all that we do)
- Temperantia (Temperance is a spirit of moderation and personal restraint; to keep ourselves in balance physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally)
- Fides (Faith in God; to trust Him; to give yourself as He gave Himself)
- Fortitvdo (fortitude and courage. We must have the courage to allow Christ to increase in us)
- Spes (Hope. We must hope in the good news of Christ and trust ourselves in the church as we would a ship upon the waters)
- Ivstitia (Justice. Christ compels us to not ignore others, to understand others, not to rationalize and/or justify our questionable acts, do right even at risk of ourselves, and to pray for others.
To start the New Year out right attend Mass and sing the Veni Creator Spiritus to gain a spiritual blessing for someone you know needs it most.