2010: A New Year

by Fr. James Tarantino

As we begin another new year, it is once again an opportunity to reassess our daily lives in the context of our faith. Traditionally, many people make New Year resolutions that fall off the table of life within a matter of days or weeks. It is too easy to make promises to one's self, good as they might be, and then quickly give in to the old habits. As the old saying goes, the way to _ _ _ _ is paved with good intentions. Well, a health body, mind and soul will never happen without determination and help from others - especially from God.

Scripture tells us that God has so much love for us that He sent His only Son to show us a better way of what it means to be fully human and fully alive. Constantly giving into the weakest side of our nature creates a kind of unnoticed starvation that truly affects not only the mind and body but the soul as well. The over-stimulation of the senses can create a self-manipulation that cheats a person into thinking that health and happiness can be found in excessive consumerism. While good for the economy, too much emphasis on external stimuli strangles the heart and dulls the human spirit. It is true that many people experience a surge in generosity and giving during the Christmas and New Year season. Sadly, such sentiments do not last long for most people as the month of January progresses. As the "first" roles by, the not so tempered reality of daily life and its usual challenges re-entrenches itself and the "norm" of life retakes its hold. What can a thinking and reflective person do to make this year different?

  1. Remember – you are not powerless when it comes to making fundamental decisions that can change your circumstances.

  2. Remember – you are truly a son/daughter of God who loves you, cares for you and your circumstances and offers you real help in walking a healthier path.

  3. Remember – you are never alone! Jesus is always with you, in you and at your side.

  4. Remember – the Holy Spirit is also always with you. You have the power of the universe at your disposal to achieve and show others that God's way, the way of love and forgiveness is a far better way to live.

  5. Remember – the only way to achieve true inner peace is to give God's plan a try in your life. God's plan cannot be defeated!

  6. Remember – you need to surround yourself with people who are like-minded when it comes to living a life rooted in faith and goodness.

  7. Remember – life is shorter than most people think or realize. Decide today to make the most of life through the help of God and others who are striving to do the same.

"The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!"

May the power of the Holy Spirit and the special intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary inspire you to make the most of the days ahead. For, the Lord is with you!

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