A BRAND NEW YEAR

Very exciting thing, the passage of time. We find ourselves with all sorts of plans to make, things to do, new ideas, and, yes, those pesky resolutions. We sometimes make it through January with most of them intact – February is another matter. I find that the best way not to break them is not to make them. Watch what you eat, don’t smoke, don’t swear, and watch the speedometer seem to be some of the “best practices” to avoid “resolutionary recrimination.”

I often think many of us believe that the magical stroke of midnight on December 31st is going to transform us – ennoble us with amazing power to do things we know we shouldhave done before, but simply didn’t. Thus, is the great conundrum of humanity. St. Paul himself offered some insight in the seventh chapter of Romans when he wrote: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Rom. 7:15)

It is puzzling that we are such creatures of habit and seekers of comfortable predictability. So many of us would fancy ourselves quite willing to take risks and be bold. That’s another thing that is fairly puzzling – how little we really know about ourselves.

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other is truly the gift of humility – namely of learning about ourselves with our strengths and weaknesses, joys and sorrows. Could we, by becoming less mindful of whatever anybody else thinks of us, become more aware of what really matters about us? A great way we have of learning about ourselves is in prayer – really. By honestly entering into a relationship with God we genuinely can start to think about what God wants and less about what we feel we want or worst yet what wefeel we need.

Deep prayer promotes positive thoughts ­– opens up the brain to some very creative ideas and can restore some positive action to daily life. We may not need trendy resolutions that we easily admit will fail if we have a tried-and-true method of proven value called virtuous living set in motion. Happy New Year.

. . . I’ll see you at Sunday Mass (part of a healthy New Year regimen).

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