Happy New Year! For as long as I can remember, each year after Christmas, my Mom would start talking about going to go the grocery to get a can of black eyed peas to eat on New Year’s Day. The purpose for eating the black eyed peas is to bring prosperity and luck for the coming year. This tradition in the south dates back to the Civil War when black eyed peas were used to feed the animals. After the troops came through and destroyed the other crops, only black eyed peas remained for the southern troops and their families to survive…therefore, they were lucky.
As this new year begins, I want to focus more on hope than on luck. One definition of hope from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is – to expect with confidence: trust. This definition is one I would like to resolve to embrace throughout 2017. Not a materialistic hope (I hope the community will buy a boat) but a hope that stirs within my deepest being and challenges me to grow into my authentic self (I am a child of God and am totally dependent on him.)
Once, while searching for symbols of Saint Angela on the internet, I came across an icon of Saint Angela that, among other things, depicts her holding a bunch of grapes. The caption indicates that the grapes are symbolic of her vineyard as well as the group of women she brought together.
This is why I have selected Vineyard of Hope as the title for this blog. Vineyard represents the bond all the women who have chosen to live in community as Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph. Hope is the attitude with which we approach each tomorrow on our journey toward heaven.
— Sister Monica Seaton