The Last Hour…

December 31, 2021
Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this New Year’s Eve, our spirits are occupied with the passage of time – the endings and beginnings that compose a life.

In the public domain, this night is often characterized as one of wild celebrations, almost as if we need to prove our endurance within time.

But in the privacy of our hearts, there are the moments of quiet nostalgia, bittersweet memory, and inexpressible gratitude for all that has been in this past year and the years preceding.


On this Sacred Eve, as people of faith, we will hold time’s hourglass up to the Light of eternity, knowing that – in God – there is no time.

In God, there is only love – the only human capacity which endures beyond time. In heaven, we will not need faith because we will see. We will not need hope, because all will be fulfilled.

But we will always need love.

In the end, there are three things that last –
faith, hope, and love.
And the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13


Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

So before the tolls welcome midnight, let us raise up to God our Eucharist of 2021:

  • those whose lives have been completed; those who have just begun
  • the efforts we made which succeeded; those which failed
  • the dreams secured; the dreams abandoned
  • the opportunities for grace that we seized; those lost which we hope to reclaim
  • the prayers answered as we had desired; the prayers answered in ways we hadn’t expected
  • all that we have loved; all that we hope to love more worthily

As John says in our first reading,
“Children, it is the last hour …” 
May we let it go
with gratitude, wisdom and joy.

But as John also says in our Gospel:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God …
…. and from his fullness we have all received,
grace flowing upon grace …

May we welcome the grace
of eternal life and hope
given to us
in another New Year.

New Year’s Chimes by Francis Thompson, the English poet and Catholic mystic whose most famous poem is “The Hound of Heaven”. The poem is so worth your time if you can spare it. I take it in small doses to squeeze out the amazing imagery in every stanza.


What is the song the stars sing?
(And a million songs are as song of one)
This is the song the stars sing:
(Sweeter song’s none).

One to set, and many to sing.
(And a million songs are as song of one)
One to stand, and many to cling,
The many things and the one Thing,
The one that runs not, the many that run.

The ever new weaveth the ever old,
(And a million songs are as song of one)
Ever telling the never told;
The silver saith, and the said is gold,
And done ever the never done.

The Chase that’s chased is the Lord o’ the chase,
(And a million songs are as song of one)
And the Pursued cries on in the race;
And the hounds in leash are the hounds that run.

Hidden stars by the shown stars’ sheen;
(And a million suns are but as one)
Colours unseen by the colours seen,
And sounds unheard heard sounds between.
And a night is in the light of the sun.

An ambuscade of light in night,
(And a million secrets are but as one)
And a night is dark in the sun’s light,
And a world in the world man looks upon.

The world above in the world below,
(And a million worlds are but as one)
And the One in all; as the sun’s strength so
Strives in all strength, glows in all glow
Of the earth that wits not, and man thereon.

Braced in its own fourfold embrace
(and a million worlds are but as one)
And round it all God’s arms of grace,
The world, so as the Vision says,
Doth with its great lightning tramples on.

And the thunder bruiteth into thunder,
(And a million sounds are as sound of one)
From stellate peak to peak is tossed a voice of wonder
And the height stoops down to the depths thereunder,
And sun leans forth to his brother sun.

And the more ample years unfold
(With a million songs as song of one)
A little new of the ever old,
A little told of the never told,
Added act of the never done.

Loud the descant, and low the theme,
(A million songs are as song of one)
And the dream of the world is dream in dream,
But the one Is is, or nought could seem;
And the song runs round to the song begun.

This is the song the stars sing,
(Tunèd all in time)
Tintinnabulous, tuned to ring
A multitudinous-single thing
(Rung all in rhyme).

Blessed 2022, dear friends.


Music: Two songs — for “old times sake”?

Amazing Grace ~ Salt Lake City Vocal Artists

Auld Lang Syne – sung by Helmut Lotti

2 thoughts on “The Last Hour…

  1. Thank you for coming into my life in 2021. I so appreciate the gentle wisdom of your words and the combining it with others’ words and songs. Happy New Year, Renee!

    Liked by 1 person

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