Daily Reflection

Daily Reflection Archives

September 18

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This past weekend the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, marked the beginning of ten days of soul searching and repentance. The themes of these days are meant to create a sensitivity and appreciation for the precious significance of everyday existence. For all of us, focusing on human mortality and the factors that wreak havoc upon human lives exposes the deadening effects of habit and routine. We often deceive ourselves into believing that we can successfully defer living the kind of lives we consider worthwhile until some future time. This attitude is self-deceptive. It ignores the real consequences of our present patterns of behavior which can weaken or extinguish our natural capacity to live life deeply and seriously. It also deprives us of savoring the fullness of life in the present moment. It is good for all of us to have periods of time when we can examine our deepest longings and correct the course of our lives.


Guide us, O God, on the true path of life.


When events prompt us to reflect on life and its meaning, let us not put it off but make time to think and pray.

Suggested Reading

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:1-17

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.
Thomas Merton

So as we observe the state of the nation and the world, see their progress and their struggle, we can and we should observe the state of our own being. Not only in terms of how much more we are doing, observing and learning, but also in terms of how much more deeply and sensitively we are living.
Rabbi David Lapin

A key component of Rosh Hashanah is to ask for forgiveness from anyone one may have wronged during the previous year. To whatever extent possible, we want to begin the year with a clean slate – and without anyone harboring a grudge against us. One should also be quick to forgive those who have wronged him.
ABCs of Rosh Hashanah

This festival has evolved through tradition to represent a season of personal and universal renewal. Every human being needs an opportunity to begin again, to wipe out the past and dream dreams about what his or her life can become. . . . We say goodbye to the old time and hello to the new. In the process we say goodbye to our old selves and hello to our new ones.
Neil Gillman