At the End of the Year: How Great Thou Art!

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Formation, Reflections

The year 2022 is ending and we greet 2023 with joy, hoping that together we will create a fairer and happier world for all.

History tells that, around 1885, when the Swedish poet, Carl Boberg, was returning from a meeting and walking through the countryside, a great storm suddenly broke out, with thunder and lightning that shook the skies violently. He took refuge among some trees, waiting for the sky to clear and stop raining and thundering … and at the same time reflected on the greatness of God and composed the well-known Christian hymn: How great Thou Art! Let this be our last thought of the year. How great is God in nature, but also in the men and women who accompany us, in the poor whom we serve, and in the gift that he gave us by sending his Son, Jesus Christ.

Yes, we conclude this year with mixed feelings: on the one hand, we are hopeful as we begin a new year; on the other hand, we continue to experience sorrow, conflict and loss as a result of the COVID pandemic and various wars and violence. We cannot ignore those realities as we begin a new year. Therefore, as believers, we put everything in the hands of the Lord of history … and we trust in Divine Providence, knowing that — as Frederic Ozanam told his parents — God will hear us and will give us strength and courage. God’s Kingdom will come and whatever the future, let us move forward with firm steps towards the destiny that awaits us (letter to his parents, December 23, 1831 ).

May the year 2023, that is about to begin, bring us what we need, renew our faith and, above all, encourage us to work in solidarity for a world in which no one dies or suffers because of the selfishness of others. Thus we will glorify the name of God and build up God’s Kingdom.

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
when I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!



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