Happy New Year! Frohes neues Jahr! Buon anno! Felicem Annum Novum!
On behalf of the Fathers of the Oratory and the parish staff, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year! I pray that this new year brings us many blessings and grace!
As we reflect upon this Christmas season, the hope of a new year, while also contrasting with all the bad that we know has come before, we must remember that while God promises us grace and blessings, He never promised that life would be easy. The child whose birth we just commemorated was ultimately born to die for us on the cross!
St. Francis de Sales, whose feast day we will keep later this month, once said: “The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.”
So whatever may come at us this upcoming year, remember that God sends to us His grace and His blessings regardless. Nothing has the ability to stop that, except ourselves.
As part of your new year’s resolutions, I urge you all to include your spiritual life. Not just as a penance, or for a period of time, but to change your life. To strive to conquer, with God’s grace, some vice. To seek never to miss an opportunity for the Sacraments because every opportunity may be our last one. To strive to do all of your daily prayers, perhaps picking up the habit of the Rosary this year. Finally, to ensure that you are doing proper penance and mortification, to prepare yourself for those crosses that God has fashioned for us and will send us from Heaven.
We only get one life, and we will never get time back. So instead of always putting off till tomorrow or next year, what you can do today, do it today! May the Lord bless each of us immensely in this new year!