The last night of the year and dawn of the new year begins with an ardent prayer. A time that can't be ignored by anyone. It's a time to look deeply into oneself, reflect, examine the past and resolve for the future. A time of hope.
Korea has experienced a great change in society over the past few years. Modern times have been tumultuous and Korea understands. The editorial in the Catholic Times reminds the readers of what we have undergone recently in overcoming the adverse conditions faced by society.
Citizens with the same dream, with candles in their hands, took to the streets to resist the absurdity and irrationality they saw all around. Many small flames opened up a new chapter in citizen's democracy and brought about change in our way of doing politics and a new hope.
Now in the new year, many are the tasks that are piled up in front of us. The North Korean nuclear issue raises tensions between the two Koreas. World powers surrounding the peninsular continue vying for control and we continue to ask urgently for international cooperation for Peace in East Asia.
Conflict and stress follow the efforts to remove social abuses. We have the challenges of national economic growth and polarization of society into the haves and have-nots. Urgent are efforts to find work for our young people and concern for our aging society.
The church also has many challenges to face. Church statistics show clearly the participation in the life of the church continues to decrease, the vitality of the believers is lukewarm. Young people are leaving in large numbers, a sign the future is not bright.
Secularism blossoms in Korean society. Loss of faith and attraction to the material is hardly something new but more so than in the past, results are depressing. Secularism does not give a person what they think they need, it's an emptiness that the mass media has fueled without good results. We have articles in the news on the numbers mentally ill that continue to grow. The results of losing meaning in life is a disaster with repercussions too many to number. Korea leads the world in the most extreme of the results: suicides and even among the young.
As we celebrate the new year, believers are willing to work together on a new evangelization effort. Jesus assures us of hope. His disciples are not frustrated by adversity.
We begin the New Year with a new resolution. We make a decision for the common good beyond personal interests for the future of the community, the region, society and the nation.