This past Sunday was the last Sunday of our liturgical year, and this Sunday is the first of Advent and the start of the New Year for us Catholics. A vocalist and part time columnist for the Peace Weekly give us important words of advice to begin the new year.
Every time he goes on the stage or is being video taped for a program there is a great deal of preparation. Arrangement of his clothes, the makeup, the tuning of his guitar, always effort to make a better appearance for his audience and the TV viewers. Rehearsals are required and since this involves others, a lot of time is spent waiting.
Rare is the time when he goes on the stage completely prepared. At times after rehearsals and a simple meal he sees that his hair, clothes, and makeup is messed up and because of the weather his guitar is in bad shape. All requiring fixing to get back to where he was in the first place. Despite all this preparation after the performance there is always the feeling that something was not right leaving him dissatisfied.
He feels this is not only true with vocalists but with all of us; all we need to do is change some of the words he used for himself. Especially at this time we have the students who have taken the exams for college entrance and their parents who tried their best and are waiting for the results. But in retrospect there is often the feel there was a lack in the preparation, and a feeling of regret. A feeling that we all have felt, and the next time, we say, it will be different.
For a vocalist there is always another opportunity to go on the stage, another program. Of course there is always the chance of making a serious mistake that would threaten the end of the vocalist's career as a performer, but even here, working diligently there will be another opportunity.Only one chance to succeed: a life that would not admit of mistakes and failure would be hell. Difficult it is to even imagine that kind of situation.
We have St. Peter who in one night time denied Jesus three times and St. Paul who persecuted the Church. Two good examples of those who have been given a second chance. Life is filled with second chances. Is it not true, he asks, that what we at times considered important looking back at the past turns out to be of little importance.
The opportunities that await us in life are like exams. What we did yesterday that worked out well may not be the case today. Life is filled with exams in which we test ourselves many times over. We learn from what we did that was not so good, correct our mistakes, and do the best we can at the next opportunity.
He concludes his column by telling us that one of our greatest discoveries was the eraser. What we can erase, means we can start anew. Whether we are satisfied with what was done yesterday or not, it was yesterday. We want to completely erase our mistakes; remember what was done, and begin again.
We have this opportunity with the start of the new liturgical year. Let us remember that we are always given graces to overcome our faults, and on our part be prepared to accept them.