Dear Catholic.net Friend in Christ,
I’ve heard it said “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” There is godly wisdom in that. Jesus makes all things new (Revelation 21:5). With God’s help everything can be renewed. This new year, I encourage you to entrust to Our Lord those issues in your life, or in the life of your loved ones, that seem hopeless. (Psalm 9:11; Psalm 37:3; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
In prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to bring blessings out of those situations in which defeat has become the status quo. (Jeremiah 17:7; Psalm 143). It maybe illness, unemployment, depression, disagreements, whatever your trial, know that Jesus wills to bring about graces. (Psalm 37:4; Luke 11:5-13). Cling to him. (Psalm 63:9).
Trials are indeed opportunities for your sanctification. (Colossians 1:24). Recognize God’s hand in the midst of your suffering. (1 Peter 4:13-14). I pray that in 2010 you are able to see these challenges in your life with God’s eyes, understand them with God’s wisdom, and deal with them with God’s love. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Here is a New Year challenge for you. Choose a hopeless situation in your life. It may be a habitual sin, a long desired virtue, a troubled relationship. Something that you have dealt with for quite some time and it just feels like it will never change for the better. Discern it in prayer. Then, make a resolution to pray about this situation daily and to approach it God’s way from now on. No longer your way. (Zechariah 4:6). Then, let me know how Our Lord answers and how things turn out.
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Wishing in you and your family a very blessed New Year!
PS.: As the New Year approaches, I would like to share with you the Holy Father's prayer intentions for 2010. They follow below. Please include them and the Catholic.net aspotolate in your prayers during the upcoming year. Thank you!
Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for 2010
Young people and Social Communications Media
General: That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society.
Missionary: That every believer in Christ may be conscious that unity among all Christians is a condition for more effective proclamation of the Gospel.
General: For all scholars and intellectuals, that by means of sincere search for the truth they may arrive at an understanding of the one true God.
The Church’s Missionary Identity
Missionary: That the Church, aware of its own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples.
General: That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest.
The Churches in Africa
Missionary: That the Churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent.
Fundamentalism and Extremism
General: That every tendency to fundamentalism and extremism may be countered by constant respect, by tolerance and by dialogue among all believers.
Missionary: That Christians persecuted for the sake of the Gospel may persevere, sustained by the Holy Spirit, in faithfully witnessing to the love of God for the entire human race.
General: That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended.
Priests, Religious and Committed Lay People
Missionary: That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care.
Respect for Human Life
General: That every national and transnational institution may strive to guarantee respect for human life from conception to natural death.
The Churches in Asia
Missionary: That the Churches in Asia, which constitute a “little flock” among non-Christian populations, may know how to communicate the Gospel and give joyful witness to their adherence to Christ.
Justice in Electing those who Govern
General: That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.
An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
Missionary: That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.
The Unemployed and the Homeless
General: That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.
Victims of Discrimination, Hunger and Forced Emigration
Missionary: That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.
The Word of God as Sign of Social Development
General: That in less developed parts of the world the proclamation of the Word of God may renew people’s hearts, encouraging them to work actively toward authentic social progress.
The End of War
Missionary: That by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts which continue to bloody our world.
General: That Catholic Universities may more and more be places where, in the light of the Gospel, it is possible to experience the harmonious unity existing between faith and reason.
World Mission Day
Missionary: That the World Mission Day may afford an occasion for understanding that the task of proclaiming Christ is an absolutely necessary service to which the Church is called for the benefit of humanity.
Drug Addicts and Victims of Every Form of Dependence
General: That victims of drugs or of other dependence may, thanks to the support of the Christian community, find in the power of our Saving God strength for a radical life-change.
The Continent-wide Mission in Latin America
Missionary: That the Churches of Latin America may move ahead with the continent-wide mission proposed by their bishops, making it part of the universal missionary task of the People of God.
The Experience of Personal Suffering as a Help to Others who Suffer
General: That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help.
Opening Our Doors to Christ
Missionary: That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice.
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