The Sun is Setting on 2015


I know, I know, it’s not yet New Year’s eve, so maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit, but as I was looking through some of my recent photos and came across this one, I was struck with how the clock is ticking out the last few hours of 2015. How do you feel about that?

I think for one thing we should all be grateful that we can see another new year. There are loved ones and friends who will not see the ball fall in Times Square or hear the singing to welcome in 2016. That is sad, but it is also life. None of us have any guarantees, but we can have grateful hearts for each day we do have.

I think most of us look forward with hope as each new year comes, and I think it is important that we do so! It helps to shape our personality and character.

Perhaps more than anything else, we can look to 2016 as an opportunity to make the world we live in a better place by being more understanding of others and less judgmental (after all, we’ve never walking in someone else’s shoes). Perhaps we can hold to our own personal convictions without characterizing those who disagree with us as evil villains. Our country didn’t used to be that way. We have always had disagreements, but we were civil about them. It makes me truly sad to see what we’ve become.

Let’s all make an effort to make 2016 a better year than 2016! It’s largely a matter of attitude and how we choose to respond to what goes on around us.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of King Henry II of England, apparently on orders of the king.

In 1155, Henry II appointed Becket as chancellor, a high post in the English government. Becket proved a skilled diplomat and won the trust of Henry, who nominated him as archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. The king hoped his friend would help in his efforts to curb the growing power of the church. However, soon after his consecration, the new archbishop emerged a zealous defender of the jurisdiction of the church over its own affairs. In 1164, Becket was forced to flee to France under fear of retaliation by the king.

He was later reconciled with Henry and in 1170 returned to Canterbury amid great public rejoicing. Soon afterward, against the objections of the pope, Henry had his son crowned co-king by the archbishop of York, and tensions again came to a head between Becket and Henry. At this time, perhaps merely in a moment of frustration, the king issued to his court the following public plea: “What a parcel of fools and dastards have I nourished in my house, and not one of them will avenge me of this one upstart clerk.” A group of Henry’s knights took the statement very seriously, and on December 29, Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

The Christian world was shocked by Becket’s death, and in 1173 he was canonized a Catholic saint. In 1174, Henry was forced to do penance at his tomb, and his efforts to end the separation between church and state ceased. In 1220, Becket’s bones were transferred to Trinity Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, which later became a popular site of English religious pilgrimage.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The grasp of a newborn baby is so strong that its whole body can hang in midair, with its bent fingers supporting its weight.


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