Father Thomas Morrette
Father Thomas Morrette
In an old prayer book of the Church, the opening meditation for New Year’s Day is: “All earthly things pass away but You, O Lord, remain the same. Everything grows old like clothing, and like old clothing, you put it away. But You, Yourself, O Lord, are always the same and Your years never multiply.”

One can’t help but think of “time” as the new year starts. As we count the years, we think about past, happy memories shared with spouses, loved ones and friends. How grateful we should be for these blessings at this time of year. The new year also makes us think about the “bigger picture” too — how fast time passes, how short life is and how quickly it goes by. We are travelers on this earth. St. Therese of Lisieux writes: “The world is our ship, not our port of call.”

However, we will, for the most of us (God-willing), have this year ahead of us and still be on pilgrimage. How do we live out this time ahead as we should? Once again, Christ shows us the way. We rely on His strength and power in all that is ahead and we’ll put our faith in Him as we have in years past. With Him, we can make good in 2022. With Him, the year ahead can be fruitful and fulfilling.

We’ll follow the Commandments and the way of life Christ said would bring us real happiness. We’ll perform our duties well and try to live our lives with integrity. When we fail, we repent and accept God’s mercy, never discouraged. We’ll reach out to the forgotten and lost. We’ll live in an atmosphere of prayer and worship. We’ll contribute to human progress and to all that uplifts and lightens the load of those who find life burdensome. We’ll act. We’ll serve and volunteer. We’ll be generous. We’ll reach out. We’ll lean on a secret joy within us when trouble comes our way, that all is well for we are God’s and His we’ll always be.

Some advice for the new year: Dream less of the past and future and concentrate on the opportunities in the present. The Lord told us: “Every day has its sorrow. Don’t be solicitous for the morrow.” (See Mt. 6.34) Yesterday is past, tomorrow is uncertain, but today is entirely in our hands. We always have the choice to “seize the day” or to dreadfully endure it. Our goal should be to do what we can, with what we have, where we are, and with who we are. And then leave the rest to God.
The Church calls every year a “Year of Grace” because the Divine Sun hovers over all that is to come. He sanctifies the seasons and gives us enough grace for each day. Throughout the entire year, the Church also puts its arms around us and braids the mystery of grace into every moment of our lives. We’re never alone, we Christians. From Christ and the Church flow a fountain of sacramental grace and support. In addition to our friends, coworkers and family members, God and his Church are with us in all things. And with them — what comes our way in the year ahead will always be surrounded with heavenly power.

Father Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Mission Our Lady of the Snow in Grafton and Christ Son of Justice Parish in Troy.