• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 10:53

New Year Resolutions All Year Long - reflection

 

Fr Anthony Le Duc SVD 150By Fr Anthony Le Duc SVD

As I write this reflection, we are in the early days of the new year. So I would not be far off to assume that many of us are in the middle of carrying out our new year resolutions—that is, if we chose to make them. The occasion of a brand new year has always been a popular and suitable opportunity to make some changes in our lives for the better—perhaps putting more effort and commitment into work, relationships, or personal projects than what was seen from us in the past. 

As a priest who listens to confession on a weekly basis, I am keen around this time of year to incorporate the notion of new year resolutions into the little advice that I give to those who come to me in the sacrament of reconciliation. Not only do I affirm and commend their decision to choose this particular occasion to reconcile with God and fellow human beings, I also try to help them see that what they do in this sacrament should be part of a larger plan of spiritual renewal and transformation that they should lay out for the entire year. And there is nothing better than to kick off this new year-long project with the sacrament of forgiveness. 

New Years Resolutions 450As someone who listens to the confession of others, I do have a confession of my own. The truth is it’s just not the occasion of the new year that I choose to go with this approach in my advice giving. I often impart similar advice when the confession takes place during Advent, Lent, Easter, and even Lunar New Year (with the necessary adaptations to fit the occasion, of course). I sometimes employ this approach when the confession takes place within a special event such as a weekend youth retreat or if the confession is the first after a significant period of time away from the sacrament. 

Some might accuse me of being unimaginative in the way I give advice in the confession room. It is not that I do not know any other way to give advice to the person who comes for confession. Nonetheless, I really do see the above occasions as truly meaningful opportunities to mark a new beginning, to start out afresh, and to undertake those positive life changing actions in a decisive and concrete way. 

Because I do have the same people who come to me for confession, I cannot always simply give the same advice. But in reality, the act of making resolutions that helps us to transform the way we relate to God, to our family, to our neighbours and even to ourselves does not have to be reserved for the new year  alone. I dare say there is never a bad time for making resolutions meant to turn us into better children of God. There is never a need to wait to resolve to be more enthusiastic and faithful members of the Church. There is never a need to delay making the decision to be more thoughtful neighbors to those around us. Indeed, now is as good a time as ever to begin doing all those things, as well as resolve to be more responsible stewards of God’s Creation. And it is a daily resolution to commit ourselves to loving the person that we married, to remember to “see” the poor as we pass by them on the street, to pray unceasingly, and to learn from Jesus devotedly. 

Therefore, what we often call new year resolutions is, in fact, not particular to the new year at all. We simply choose this period of time to the remind ourselves of the things that we need to do better in our lives. But Advent, Lent and Easter are just as good occasions for resolution making. Every time we enter the reconciliation room presents an opportunity for taking meaningful actions aimed at self-transformation. Indeed, every morning that we wake up to a new day, we can just as well make those resolutions that help make that day a good one for ourselves as well as for all those whom we encounter.

PHOTO: Pixabay