Today we begin a «new year». What will it be like? What do I expect of it? What do I really want? What is it I need? To what will I dedicate my most precious and important time? What for me will be truly new and good in this year that’s starting today?
Will I go about haphazardly, passing from one task to another, without knowing exactly what I want or why I’m alive, or will I learn to distinguish what’s important and essential from what’s secondary? Will I go about in a rut and bored, or will I learn to live with a more creative spirit?
Will this year see me go on distancing myself from God little by little, or will I start to seek God with more trust and sincerity? Will this year find me more mute before God, not opening up my mouth or my heart, or will a small, humble but sincere invocation break forth finally from my battered soul?
Will I again this year go around busy only for my own welfare, or will I know how to bother myself sometimes about making others happy? Who will I come close to? Will I sow joy in them, or will I spread discouragement and sadness? Wherever I go, will life be more loving and less burdensome?
Will it be one more year dedicated to doing more and more things, piling up selfishness, tension and disquiet, or will I have time for silence, rest, prayer and encounter with God? Will I just close myself into my problems, or will I try to make a more human and livable world?
Will I be indifferent to the news that comes daily from nations plagued by hunger? Will I dispassionately look upon body parts of people in Iraq or migrants drowned in a boat? Will I coolly look at those who come to us looking for work or food? When will I learn to look at those who suffer with a heart full of responsibility and solidarity?
What’s «new» about this year won’t come from outside. Its newness can only spring forth from our heart. This year will be new if I learn to believe in new and more trusting ways, if I find new and more loving gestures for sharing life with those around me, if I awaken in my heart a new compassion toward those who suffer.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf