As we enter the New Year
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - January 5, 2020 - 12:00am

Every new year reminds us 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, or how much experience, wealth, power, etc. we have gained, we can never say we have reached our ultimate goal; to be with God in heaven forever.

There will always be the need to make a new beginning. So let’s enter the new year with a renewed spirit of faith, hope, and charity, the basic and indispensable guide we need as we go through life that will involve all sorts of temporal and earthly affairs that are supposed to be the means and occasions to lead us to heaven.

Our life is not simply earthly, material, temporal, and natural. It’s also spiritual and meant to be supernatural and eternal in its final state. We have to develop our life in such a way that its spiritual and supernatural character is never compromised.

 

We shouldn’t forget that the ultimate parameter or condition of everything in our earthly life is to be with God. We shouldn’t exchange this condition for whatever good 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) Entering the new year, let us tighten our relation with God first.

We have to make some kind of prognostication of what we can expect this year. It goes without saying there will be new things, challenges, goals, etc., to contend with. We can expect so many of them that if we aren’t careful and prepared, we can easily get lost or confused.

The profusion of new things shouldn’t surprise us anymore. The great progress in art, science, and technology, and the growing number of people going into all kinds of inventions and creations insure that more and more new things will come.

We really would need to be very discerning in getting involved in these new things, lest we 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, others, and our own selves. What oftentimes happens is that new things tend to disorient and 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 lead us to self-indulgence, 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 duties, they are actually our enemies.

We need to be truly discerning because we cannot discard these new things altogether. We cannot and shouldn’t 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 have to know which one has priority over the other.

LIFE
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