Like many others who live in blessedly temperate climates, I have a few clothes that are fitting for cold weather but seldom worn. Recently we had our winter in Dallas—it lasted about four days—and I pulled out some old corduroy pants. Although but lightly worn, they are very old, being what was sold by L. L. Bean in the latter portion of the previous century.

And my, were they noticed! The barista at the Green Giant coffee shop: “Like those pants.” The person who took me to a dining table: “Nice pants.” A middle-aged person who greeted my mother as we left her church said to me: “I like your style.”

Style? Moi? These are not comments I am used to receiving! I know enough to be gracious, but in my heart I know it’s not true. I don’t have a sense of style—I just hate to throw things away. And I think: if a person just hangs onto anything long enough it will seem new again.


Yet that also is not true. I have a very well made, 20-year-old car, but I know that at some point I will have to let it go. It is never becoming new again. Likewise I have a body—it’s triple the age of my car, and at some point I will have to lay it down also. In this world, the cyclical return of old fashions does not reveal the truth about things in general.

Nonetheless it does expose a longing. Our hearts have a longing that, thank God, is based in a reality that is greater than this world. Saint Paul writes in Romans that the whole creation awaits the revelation of the children of God. Jesus himself has taught us (not to mention being the first examplar of this truth) that our bodies themselves will rise out of death to life. God will hang onto us long enough for us to be new again.

That, I think, is a happy thought for the beginning of the year of our Lord 2023.


Out & About in 2023: Holy Trinity Church in Garland is having a study during the Epiphany season on my little book A Post-Covid Catechesis. The study will be weekly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., with the first session January 11. I will be with them that evening and visitors are welcome. We will be discussing the first chapter that evening.

There’s more on “post-pandemic catechesis” on the diocesan website:

The Good Books & Good Talk seminar on Sunday, January 15, will discuss The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. Published in 1961, this novel established Percy as a Southern Catholic writer to be reckoned with. Anyone who reads the book is welcome to participate in the conversation, which is from 5 to 6:30 pm at Incarnation in Dallas.

Ethics class at the Stanton Center. I teach a five-session course on Christian Ethics, meeting in Dallas on third Saturdays starting January 21, at 9 a.m. If you are interested, contact Erica Lasenyik: .


The Rev. Canon Victor Lee Austin. Ph.D., is the Theologian-in-Residence for the diocese and is the author of several books including, "Friendship: The Heart of Being Human" and "A Post-Covid Catechesis.: