Leona’s 2012 Advent and New Year’s Letter
I have chosen one of my recent posts (see below) from my blog, THE REST OF THE WAY, for this Seasonal Greeting. (See www.leonchoy.blogspot.com and my publishing web site: www.goldenmorning.com.)
NOT CREATED FOR NAUGHT
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
composed this declaration which I wish to echo:
“God has created me to do Him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me
which he has not committed to another.
“I have a mission; I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons;
He has not created me for naught.
“I shall do good—I shall do His work.
I shall be an angel of peace while not intending it,
if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him.”
The above is exactly the statement of affirmation I tried to make when I wrote the following poem earlier this year. Both Newman’s declaration and my poem summarize what I have personally sensed since my childhood—not fully understood, sometimes doubted, often was amazed at, at times dug in my heels against—but always pondered in my knowing spirit as true.
Like the many facets of a diamond, this mission, this destiny, this purpose, this journey God has put me on for eight decades since my baptism as an infant, has had multiple reflections in its outworking. Step by step it is still being revealed as I keep marveling at how God leads me. In different seasons of my life the Lord has called me to walk diverse and unknown paths, “roads less traveled.” Sometimes my road has indeed become a bridge, sometimes a link in a chain, sometimes a bond of connection, sometimes a catalyst to enable God’s larger purposes to be fulfilled in my life and in the lives of others.
My response has been less than perfect at times because I “see through a glass darkly” as Saint Paul described it. Most of the time, however, my heart-stance has been to say an emphatic “YES, LORD!” My personal continuing “fiat” is “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to Your word.”
At times I’ve felt as if I am blindfolded and stumbling in the darkness because God has not spread His agenda for my mission plainly before me. Sometimes I’ve been afraid that, humanly speaking, everything has gone askew. I ask God’s forgiveness when I’ve demanded full light upon my path or been impatient and insisted He tell me the outcome in this mortal life. It’s hard to wait “Till Later” to find out.
Nevertheless, in the words of an old Christian hymn, “I will trust and obey, for there’s no other way.” So I will keep taking only the next step He reveals, continuing to do His work and keeping His commandments. Since God has always proved faithful, “Therefore, I will trust Him.”
THE WIND has blown through my life
from infancy through all the changing years
along the paths of time.
Sometimes gently whispering
Sometimes urgently redirecting me
altering my self-planned course
to thrust me
along new paths of time.
THE WIND blew unrecognized
through my innocent childhood years.
In youth’s impetuosity oft withstood
by the stubbornness of my self-will
as I stumbled
along my private paths of time.
In prime and senescent years
THE WIND continues to blow
in spite of my resistant humanity.
Grant me the grace to live
this allotted span of earth-time
given me so munificently
to accomplish some ordained portion
of God’s Kingdom destiny
some mission to bring me
ultimately to behold His face
in Eternity and receive His words
“Well done, good and faithful servant!”
* THE WIND=The Holy Spirit
A brief overview of this year re: my writing and publication.
My book which Coming Home Network International published: MY JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF MORE:Evangelical to Catholic continues to be in demand. This year my newly published sequel: LIVING THE TREASURES IN THE LAND OF MORE:Discoveries of a New Catholic Christian has taken off well. I was privileged to co-author a book with a pastor friend in Canada: AGING JOYFULLY, recently off the press and going strong. I finished editing my book GOTHIC ARCHIE AND OTHER IMAGINEERINGS: FABLES OF GOD’S KINGDOM FOR GROWNUPS. These are allegories and parables, undecided about a publisher. I’m also well into shaping up SINGING ON THE SUMMIT: Finishing up with a Flourish, which is a sequel to my spiritual auto-bio Trilogy as above. (The first book of the Trilogy was my flagship auto-bio CZECHING MY ROOTS, still available.) At the end of last year I compiled another Anthology of my contemporary verse mostly for private circulation titled LATTER RAIN: WORDSMITHING VERSE IN THE LATE SEASON OF MY LIFE. Currently shaping up is CONVERSATIONS WITH JEFFREY: Dialogues about his life and growth in understanding his Christian Faith. This book grew out of the mentoring of my pre-teen grandson Jeffrey, now a teen, toward his Confirmation in our parish this past October. It is in 2 parts: pre-teen dialogues and early teen. I’ll seek a publisher or my own Golden Morning Publishing may pick it up.
So far, 4 of my books including the two LAND OF MORE titles are available on e Books. More to be added. I’ve also assisted several first-time authors to get their books published. I thank God for enabling me to keep writing ad majorem Dei gloriam—for the greater glory of God, not my own aggrandizement. Our extensive coverage Christian radio station SOUTHERN LIGHT GOSPEL MUSIC NETWORK, which we founded and of which I am still the president, is celebrating 26 years. This year we established a sister station, THE CROSS-FM on another frequency to broadcast contemporary Christian music 24/7.
AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, INC., the university campus ministry among Chinese university students and professionals in North America which we co-founded, is celebrating 50 years. And the CHINESE CHRISTIAN CHURCH we co-founded in Wash. D.C. is commemorating its 57th anniversary with several branch churches. Thank God for “fruit that remains” for God’s Kingdom.
I thank God that my several generations of family members are well and thriving and the number still stands at 4 adult sons, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great-grands.
Well, I’ve never been 87 before! It’s a new life adventure. Of course I face challenges of stamina and health, but I try not to sweat the small stuff—and I offer it up with the more major issues to the Lord to take care of. My times are in God’s hands. As a longtime lung cancer surgery survivor, the Lord has been generous and faithful to give me long life and sufficient breath to continue His Kingdom work.
An increasing number of my beloved friends and relatives have departed earth life this year but continue to be alive and rejoicing in God’s presence. I deeply miss their mortal touch and companionship.
I pray for each of you by name as I send this seasonal greeting. I would be delighted to hear what God is doing in your life and what I may pray for you. If you wish to pray for me, my priority prayer request is that I will continue to “obey the Lord fully” as Caleb was said to have done in the Old Testament throughout his life into advanced age, until I too will have fulfilled the destiny for which God has given me life. You may also write me by “snail mail” at 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603 or phone me 540-877-1813 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org or text me on my cell phone 540-398-6611 or SKYPE me or come to visit me–take your choice of communication! My blog site and web site are at the top of this letter. Of course I welcome you to order my books! Contact me for details.
Leona a.k.a. “Sal”—short for “SALmon.” I consider myself “God’s salmon still swimming/leaping upstream in life–only somewhat more slowly due to chronological factors.” (Go to my blog post as above for the enhanced article.)