Reflections & Questions for a New Year

By Fr Scott Jenkins


It is early in the year AND it has been, the hardest time the entire globe has gone through in my lifetime. It is sobering. Words like devastating, overwhelming, distressing, and crushing are not exaggerations describing what we have just been through and continue to face.


So, how did we do it? Serious business. How did we make it through this time? What was the center that held us together and continues to hold us today?


There has to be more to looking back than just loss. There was plenty of that.


In the Celtic journey, winter is a time to slow down, reflect, go inward. As I offer my reflection, my questions to you, I must just say I sit in the seat of white privilege. There is no other place I have sat my whole life. Becoming aware, with a long way to go and grow, I am thankful for all those who were my teachers in areas like systemic racism, growing up in a red lined neighborhood, my own racist attitudes and behaviors. How did I get through the early stages of the pandemic? In a privileged place delving into myself, opening myself up for some serious introspection. It was not pretty. But I am grateful for the experience that was then and continues today.


I unwrapped myself almost daily to exploring God’s love and care for me through the gift of nature. “The earth is my sister. I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am.” (Susan Griffith) I felt the foundation of earth beneath my feet, recalled the movement of seasons as signs of hope and continuity. I thought of the many provisions and was humbled that there was enough for all of us.


The leaves fell, the pond froze, plants seemingly died. There is a rhythm to it all. The Great Conductor invites, encourages, empowers us to pick up our instrument and join in the song of birth, life, death, and beyond. I have come to trust a little more in the LIFE beyond this life with the passing of my 49-year-old daughter, Kristin. I am living with the presence of absence.


I am discovering the truth and beauty of trusting my experiences with God. I am coming to terms of who I have been. I know today, more than ever before just how much I am loved.


Reflection. Admission. Surrender. Acceptance. Letting go. It has been a hard, hard year. I am privileged. I am grateful. I am still learning. It is in part, how I am “getting through.”


How about you? I really would like to hear.


Scott Jenkins

Creative Director for Celtic Way