Wednesday, January 2, 2013
A New Year Filled with Hope
We are reminded by the desk columnist of the Catholic Times that this year in the East is the year of the snake. Our task, he says, is to use it well. God gives us the seeds and not the fruit. We are to sow the seeds and nurture the plant until it produces fruit. As we enter the new year, he asks us to ponder what would be necessary to make it a year filled with hope.
For a Christian, he says the best answer would be to make the journey with the Holy Spirit as our guide. As is true of any journey, what is important is deciding with whom do we make the journey. The Holy Spirit has promised to be with us to the end of time, which should be reason enough to know which traveling companion is best.
While a speedy and safe trip is always welcomed on any new journey, a reliable compass pointing out which direction to take is more important. If we lose our direction, we can roam aimlessly and get lost. A compass is necessary to reach our goal. For us, it is the Scriptures. Like rails a train needs to travel on, Scripture can carry us on to our destination. Without it, our efforts are often derailed and our destination out of reach. Likewise, without the proper guiding words and prayer, we can find ourselves without a destination.
Scripture not only aids us as a compass but as a map; the map shows us not only our destination but also how to get there. What may be necessary, in the new times we are living in now, is a new map, a new explanation to fit the challenges of our present culture.
Let us rid ourselves of our regrets and failures by holding on firmly to our Lord's hands. We are loved more than we can imagine. When we are not relating with our Lord and have no reason for thanks, we will find ourselves lacking peace and squabbling with others. When we can throw off our greed and show concern for others, we will have thanks come back to us. Each day is a new beginning. Let it begin with caring words such as I love you, Thank you, Be happy.
If we are to experience the goodness of life and give thanks, it is taken for granted that there have been times of helplessness; we should not fear them. They are the shortcuts to experiencing blessings. We do not envy another's good luck but try to imitate their persevering efforts in not giving up when the going gets tough.
We are beginning a new year and, as in all new beginnings, doing so without blemish or regrets. Let us give thanks for this new beginning and live it with joy.