31 December 2023

1 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day


The New Year
1. This is a new gift which God in His infinite goodness gives to us. But every gift of God demands on our part a generous expression of gratitude, which should result in positive acts of virtue. Gratitude is an empty and short-lived sentiment unless it is accompanied by a sincere intention of performing good works.
Time is the price of eternity, because with time we can purchase an eternity of happiness or misery.
Consider this great truth. Every year is like a ladder in our lives. Now, it is necessary that this ladder should lead us, not perilously downwards towards evil, but upwards towards Heaven, even if with faltering footsteps.
The New Year opens today as a blank page in the diary of our lives. What do we intend to write there? The usual inanities and sins, perhaps? Let us reflect before God and in the light of the eternity which awaits us. This is the time for great decisions. It is necessary that we should offer our resolutions to God along with a humble and fervent prayer that He will strengthen us to comply faithfully with His grace.
2. During these days it is customary to exchange, verbally or in writing, good wishes for the New Year. But these poor greetings are often nothing more than conventional phrases. Men lack the power to transmute such good wishes into reality. God alone is the source of every material and spiritual good; therefore He alone can ensure that these benevolent expressions are translated into deeds of Christian renovation. Since today is the beginning of the New Year, it is especially important for us to ask God more fervently and insistently to bless the resolutions which we are making for ourselves and the good wishes which we are showering on our friends.
These wishes have no meaning, and these resolutions have no force, if they are not accompanied by fervent and persevering prayer.
3. It is suggested in “The Imitation of Christ” that if we were to get rid of at least one habit of sin every year, we should soon be holy. If we have not tried to do this in the past, let us propose to do it in the future. This year let us select the principal defect which we possess, the sin into which we are most accustomed to fall. Let us seek to eradicate it with all the strength of our soul, assisted by the grace of God which will certainly not be denied us. Let us request for this purpose the most powerful patronage of Mary Most Holy. Let us pass this day in close union with God and under the maternal mantle of our Heavenly Mother. Finally, let us promise earnestly that all the days of the New Year will follow the same pattern.

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