As we enter the New Year
Every New Year reminds us, of course, of another opportunity to make a new beginning in our life. This is a law that governs us in this life. We have to begin and begin again, because no matter how far we have reached and how much we have gained in terms of experience if not of wealth, power, etc., we can never say that we have reached our ultimate goal, which is to be with God in heaven forever.
There will always be the need to make a new beginning. So let us enter the New Year with a renewed spirit of faith, hope and charity, the basic and indispensable guide we need as we go through our life’s journey that will involve all sorts of temporal and earthly affairs that are supposed to be the means and occasions to lead us to heaven.
Let us remember that our life is not simply earthly, material, temporal and natural. It is also spiritual and meant to be supernatural and eternal in its final, definitive state. We have to develop our life in such a way that its spiritual and supernatural character is never compromised.
We should not forget that the ultimate parameter or condition of everything in our earthly life is to be with God. We should not exchange this condition for whatever good that the world can offer us. As Christ said: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8,36) As we enter the new year, let us tighten our relation with God first.
In this regard, we have to make some kind of prognostication of what we can expect for this new year. It goes without saying that there will be new things, new challenges, new goals, etc., that we have to contend with. In fact, we can expect so many of them that if we are not careful and prepared, we can easily get lost or at least get confused.
The profusion of new things should not surprise us anymore. The great progress in the arts, sciences and technologies, and the growing number of people going into all kinds of inventions and creations, etc. insure that more and more new things will come our way.
We really would need to be very discerning in getting involved in these new things, lest we can get swallowed up by them and thrown into a current which we would be unable to give proper direction. These new things can be a blessing or a curse. They can give us some advantages and conveniences, but they can also be sweet poisons and Trojan horses. They can be a friendly fire and replicate the story of the tower of Babel.
These new things are supposed to enhance, not stifle, our life, especially our basic duties toward God, our families and others, and our own selves. What oftentimes happens is that the new things tend to disorient us, to distract us from our more basic duties.
So, if these new things become an obstacle in carrying out our duties to God, to the family, to others and to ourselves, then they are no good. If they only would lead us to self-indulgence and self-absorption and all kinds of disorder, they are a great danger to us. If they trap us into their fascinating dynamic and desensitize us from our duty towards God and others, they are actually our enemies.
We need to be truly discerning because definitely we just cannot discard these new things altogether. We cannot and should not ignore the many good things they offer us. In fact, we should take advantage of them. But we need to be well-grounded on the right sense of priorities because these new things will pose competing values to us, and we simply have to know which one has priority over the other.