VOICE FROM THE SOUTH
Three things are necessary as we face the New Year. The first is to resolve to reach eternal life.
The second is to plan to achieve earthly objectives. And the third is to encourage ourselves to achieve those objectives.
The targets have to be set up first. They normally do not change much. The very first of these is to reach heaven after this life. This is primordial objective. All the others are subordinate to it. The next is our self-development in this life and to have enough savings for our retirement period so that we will be comfortable. Then as semi-pelagians, we need to encourage ourselves that we can do whatever is set before us, knowing full well that the Lord has provided the graces necessary for their accomplishment.
We need targets, plans, and implementation.
The first objective is heaven and the afterlife. The only things that would prevent us from entering heaven after this life are sin. Our inherited sin or original sin has been wiped out by our baptism in Christ. Personal sins are wiped out in confession and in our making the act of contrition. Our objective is to make sure the gates of heaven are open when we leave this life. We should therefore make a habit of praying the act of contrition every night as we go to sleep. We do not know if we will wake up again and also to ask pardon for any sins we may have committed during the day, Before we consider the future we need to look at the past. The immediate past is the year that has just passed. We examine the year and thank the Lord for the graces and successes that we had in the past year. There must be many, together with the joys that sustained us during the year. Then we look into how it could be improved. Everything can be improved. As we review the past let us use our imagination it is an important opportunity for the use of our imagination. In the end it is the important thing to thank God for His help. Have we prayed?
Have we exercised to make our bodies fit? Have we pursued the ends we started with at the beginning of the year? Health? Finances? Relationships?
The suggestion is that, besides the many wishes, we make two resolutions — one negative and the other positive — which we intend to keep and monitor them with the daily review or examen. The negative resolution is to correct some fault we have; while the positive resolution is to advance us into positive territory. We all have faults like getting angry that have to be monitored on a daily basis… Then we have to look at positive improvements that we want to acquire. We can have many wishes which we do not implement. But we have to have resolutions that we must determine to implement come low or high water. Unless we follow our resolutions there can be no improvement.
As we begin the New Year, let us trust in the Lord that we can follow our resolutions and obey His commandments in joy and prosperity.
Happy New Year to all.