Article: New Year, New Hope

Newry Cathedral News

Now that we are past the Feast of the Epiphany, the 6th of January, Old Christmas, traditionally the 12th day of Christmas or even, Nollaig na mBan the season of Christmas is well and truly over. It’s this time of year that we turn our thoughts to New Year resolutions. Some of those resolutions, hardly 2 weeks old maybe have fallen by the wayside and are already consigned to the bin of best intentions by many already.

Many resolutions are no more than fads and as such last no longer than the day you made them. After our over-indulgence over the Christmas and New Year we decide January is the ideal time to detox and set new goals for the year ahead. We’ve all been there, and we decide on January 1st to make a radical change that will immediately enhance our lives. The get fit quick, lose weight quick resolutions aren’t realistic and soon are forgotten. Reality kicks in and family, work and other normal pressures soon take over and we fall back into our old ways.

Ask yourself what has been the success rate for your radical resolutions?
From the 21st of December, the Winter Solstice, the days are on the turn. The days are lengthening, brightness grows, and our hopes and spirits are also rising. However, it is hard for many to look out and have a smile on their faces when they have heavy burdens to carry. For many the new year marks is a threshold that they must cross without a partner, family member or friend because they have passed away in 2022. For many there is too much misery and bad news everywhere and it’s hard to see beyond the gloom. Every time you turn on the news it seems to be one crisis after another, climate crises, energy crises, migrant crises, hospital crises and more. There is a real risk that we are overburdened with a crisis of crisis and as a result this crisis exposure creates a hardening within us, and we become immune to the suffering of others.

Here’s a radical New Year Resolution for you to take on and to help you address all the doom and gloom – HOPE. Now it’s not a quick fix it does take time and regular attention to deliver results. Position yourself in a place where you can be hopeful that good will prevail over evil in our lives, our country and in our world. The old saying from Alexander Pope’s poem, ‘An Essay on Man’ is true, ‘hope springs eternal.’ It may be hard to be hopeful at times, but it is within our human nature to always find fresh cause for optimism.

Now hope on its own could be seen by some as a fad, maybe just wishful thinking. However, hope reinforced with faith is that light that brightens the darkness. It is the beacon for all to see and to follow. It opens the doors and allows the spirit and brightness into any situation.

Hope is the vehicle of love, kindness, belief, good and much more. Hope is the energy that carries our desires and lifts our hearts. Hope is the first step on the journey to change, a change that each one of us can affect and bring about good in our lives and in those of each and every one we love, live with and pray for.

Hope is the anchor of our lives. It secures us to our rock of faith, supporting us through good times and bad. It is the rock supporting our soul. It steadies us against challenges and reinforces our beliefs.

Hope is never lost, it is infinite and it does deliver results beyond short term resolutions. Give it a try.