| By The Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ – January 2024

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we enter 2024, I would like to take this opportunity to offer a reflection on the importance of planning and its spiritual significance as we enjoy a fresh start in the calendar year. What can we change about our own approach to making plans and then following through?

We were made in the image and likeness of God. When the Creator laid the foundations for the universe, he gave it order, direction and a purpose. And specifically, he established a plan for us to know, love and serve him. He always made the plan for us clear in the salvific mission, both in the Old and New Testaments. As Catholics, we inherited the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants, “Then you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Jer 11:4).

Christ taught us that we are not only God’s people, we are also his children, adopted sons and daughters of the living God. When we invite our heavenly Father into our lives, all things are made possible. Without him, our plans cannot come to fruition. It is tempting to seek control and perfection in reaching goals in life, but remember — ultimately, we must trust him, let him control and perfect our goals and learn not to rely on our strength or motivations.

I urge you, in whatever plans you hope to accomplish this year, that you first submit to the will of God in your life and align yourself with his plan. To know this, we must remain in a state of grace and foster a dialogue with the Lord in prayer. He lovingly anticipates our needs and knows what’s best for us, so let us place our full trust in him and listen attentively!

May the Lord, who from the dawn of time had a plan for you and your vocation, guide you in right paths to glorify him with your life. May the immaculate heart of Mary lead us to the peace of her son, our savior and Lord.

Happy New Year!

In Christ’s love,

Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS

Bishop of Charleston