Monday, 19 December 2016 17:21

New Year: Another Fresh Start

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IMAGE New Year Fresh StartAs the year comes to an end, we tend to reflect on how fast the year went, of what we did and what we didn’t do. We reflect on how we moved forward, our achievements as far as new learnings, better health, better mental grasp of our environment, better appreciation of our work, and better expression of our devotion and care for family and relatives. We also look back if we had a better clarity of our purpose on earth.

At this time of the year, we look at our possible priorities for next year. We can ask ourselves: what is the one thing or the most important thing to reach or do to be closer to our major earthly goal? Of course, I do not mean just paying off the mortgage or retiring with enough cash reserves. As Christians, we desire to take the journey that will lead us closer to our hope of living with Christ Jesus in eternity.

Have I done the requirements for a plenary indulgence the right way? Have I recognised all the milestones in this journey? Have I taken advantage of all that the church has given me to be able to reach both our earthly and heavenly goals?

Many of us will now be planning what adjustments we need to do next year to make ourselves much better persons for the people and communities we serve.

We also need to throw away stuff: clothes, furniture and gadgets we can live without. We need to simplify. We need to minimise. I think those Facebook groups that encourage recycling pre-loved goods could be both good and bad. Good for those who want new things and that by giving away their old stuff, they free themselves of the guilt of having more or newer versions of what they already have. Not good for those who are just collecting things from other people just because these are cost-free. They just become misers and continue to collect things they do not really need.

We need to think of what habits and routines we need to change or improve. Am I happy with my morning routine? Or do I have to plan something that I can realistically implement? I always wanted to get up at 5.00 am and do more writing or meditating or exercising. But, somehow, this happened only a few times this year. I need to have more motivation to make it happen. I need some systems that could help me implement this. Sleeping really early to get up early is so much easier said than done. I have so many reasons why I could not sleep early. Aside from some household meetings during the week, I have an ingrained attitude (mental and emotional) of maximising the hours in a day up to the very last minute otherwise I would feel like I have not lived a full day! I need a lot of will-power to change this inner resistance.

I need to plan. When should I reach out to those who are struggling in life? How can I concretely show mercy to people? How many people should I attempt to help? How many times will I approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation next year?

Pope Francis had Mercy Fridays. In the office, we tried to find and share other people’s compassionate and charitable works for our Mercy Mondays. What corporal and spiritual acts of mercy will I be doing consciously and consistently each week for the whole of next year?

Soon, I can have a fresh start. But, I have to prepare and plan now so as not just to hope but to really make myself a better person in order to live a more committed and transformed life with Christ Jesus.

This New Year is a blessing. I hope and pray that you and I will have the strength to plan and implement another fresh start.

More in this category: « Here and Now An Advent Reflection »