A New Year Dawns

3 Dec

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”
~ G.K. Chesterton

There are always opportunities given to us to begin anew. They happen to us in the classroom, in the workplace, in our families, in our society, and in our Church.

When beginning anew, it is wise to look back and see what we have accomplished as well as what we have failed to accomplish, what we have said as well as what we have failed to say. Only then can we make a plan for our new beginnings.

Why all this talk of a new year since it is only the beginning of December?  Well, it is because today is New Year’s Day, at least in the liturgical life of the Church.  Today, we begin our new liturgical calendar with the First Sunday of Advent.

Where are we at the present moment in our own faith lives?  Where do we need to go? What do we need to do to get there?  Those are all questions that we should be asking ourselves as we embark upon this new year.

What areas need improvement in your life? Do you need to pray daily? Do you need to set aside more time each day to pray?  Do you need to put your faith into action, becoming a volunteer at a local soup kitchen or shelter?  Do you need to spend time with the poor and needy?  Do you need to visit the sick and shut in?

There are a myriad of ways that we could all improve.  It is up to us to reflect upon our lives, with total honesty, and to discern what we need to do to grow spiritually.

Once we do that, we need to make a plan and stick to it.  Our spiritual resolutions should be something that we can complete or else we will give up trying to accomplish them.  Do not make them too difficult or make too many resolutions at once.  That is, after all, how we usually fail in keeping our annual New Year’s resolutions.

A new year dawns and, with it, new promise and new hope.  Throw away the cares and concerns of the past year. Dismiss the mistakes that you may have made.  Do not tie yourself to the past; but, use the past to help yourself grow into the future.  My prayer for you is that you have a blessed year, filled with rich graces from our loving God.

FAITH ACTION: Eyes wide open, let us go into our new liturgical year looking for all the possibilities of God in our lives.