Our God is a God of “second chances”.
He is always ready to forgive us and open up the door for a newer and better
future. The founder of the Oblates of
the Virgin Mary, Venerable Father Bruno Lanteri, coined a classic phrase: “Nunc copei”--- translated loosely, “Now
As the sun rises on the horizon of a
new year it is time to rewind the clock of the year that expires and give
thanks for God’s countless gifts---“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for
His mercy endures forever.” However, it is an opportune moment to review,
admit, and try to correct our mistakes
The Word of God reminds us: “The
just man falls seven times a day.” Only
God is perfect; we are perfectible through God’s grace and our generous
Therefore, in this short essay, we would
like to present a few suggestions to
start off the New Year so that it will be the best year of our life!
MEDITATION: MT. 25. A suggested reading to motivate us to
undertake generous proposals and to implement them in our lives would be the
prayerful reading and meditation of Mt. 25. Jesus, the best of teachers, presents
us with three Parables: the wise and foolish virgins awaiting the groom, the
Parable of the talents (some used well, others neglected); finally, the Parable
of the Last Judgment. The final word is
did we really try to live out the Gospel of love, discovering Jesus in the poor
and running to their aid!
The following are five concrete
suggestions on how we can live the New Year to the very maximum of our
potential. This New Year will be the
best year of our lives! May God be with
CHRISTOCENTRIC. St. Paul reminds us clearly with these words:
“Whether you eat or drink, do all for the honor and glory of God.” St. Ignatius’ famous dictum: A.M.D.G—All for
the greatest glory of God. May we start our day, begin all major actions and
end our day with the sole purpose of pleasing God in all we do! Why not chose
this Biblical expression and try to live it out to the fullest: “To love God with all your heart, mind, soul
and strength…” (Lk. 10: 27)
PERMANENT FORMATION IN MY FAITH. Why not this new year plan to grow in the
knowledge of your faith? Propose to read at least a half an hour a day some
solid spiritual masterpiece. Suggestions?
The Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas and St.
Augustine, the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, Papal
writings. Why not start with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evngelii Guadium). Even though the Year of Faith concluded our
personal faith formation never ends!
BE A BARNABUS! Why not this coming year be a “Barnabus”—meaning
a son of encouragement. During the course of this year do all you possibly can
to be a source of encouragement to all you meet, but especially start at home.
Charity begins at home. A smile, a
compliment, a word of encouragement, a kind gesture of service--- all of these
can go a long way in helping our brothers and sisters to carry their daily crosses. Avoid complaining;
rather praise and give thanks! St. Paul
reminds us that the consolation that we have received we should share it with
others. Why not be a Simon Cyrene or a
Good Samaritan on the highway of life?
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross
OFFER IT UP! St. Louis de Montfort once said: “What a
cross it is to not have a cross.” He would also bless his friends with these
words: “May God bless you and give you many small crosses.” Upon starting some enterprise, St. Ignatius
would always see it as God’s will if it were accompanied by some form of cross.
Crosses will visit you! Why not learn
to accept the small crosses of daily life and offer them up. This means, unite your cross with the cross
of Jesus. If done your crosses will be an infinite source of sanctification. As
the saying goes: either the cross makes
you better or bitter!
Our Lady of Lourdes
MARY’S MATERNAL AND CONSTANT PRESENCE. At the end of the Rosary we pray the Hail
Holy Queen, starting with these words: “Hail
Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope…” St.
Louis de Montfort states unequivocally that Mary is the quickest, shortest and
easiest path to arrive at God. Jesus came into the world through Mary and we
should choose Mary as the pathway to Jesus. Listen to the sublime words of
honor given to Mary in the Diary of Mercy
in my soul, From Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: “To give worthy praise to the
Lord’s mercy, we unite ourselves with your Immaculate Mother, for then our hymn
will be more pleasing to you, because she is chosen from among men and angels.
Through her, as through a pure crystal, your mercy was passed on to us. Through
her, man became pleasing to God; through her, streams of grace flowed down upon
us. ( Diary # 1746) In this New Year may we seek to secure these two secure
sources of refuge: the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus the Lord and the Immaculate
Heart of Mary!