January 15, 2014
Recently one of our parishioners shared with us some recommendations for the New Year. These ideas originate from our new Pope Francis. Ten of them are:
- Look for the good in people and do not gossip. Gossip destroys and tears people apart.
- Finish your meals. We waste much which could be used by others.
- Make time for others. We should pause to show our concern for others and say thank you.
- Choose the more humble purchase. We can choose to live a “sober and essential lifestyle.”
- Meet the poor in the flesh. Real love helps enable people to care for themselves.
- Stop judging others. Tolerance appreciates people where they are.
- Befriend those who disagree. Dialogue leads to understanding.
- Make commitments, such as marriage. Commitment leads to stability.
- Make a habit to ‘ask the Lord’. Daily prayer and reflection give direction in life.
- Be happy. Our joy and happiness reflect our sense of fulfillment as persons of faith.
The article from which these ideas were derived was shared with us the other day by Maria Kamerbeek. Often we forget that simple choices and actions make a great positive difference in the world around us. It is so true that we should be looking for what is good in people, and not simply finding fault. As a society we do take things for granted and waste a great deal. Spending time with people, especially the forgotten or vulnerable will make a great difference to them. We know we often spend too much on ourselves when we could help others. The world has many problems and tensions. Tolerance coupled with dialogue can help bring peace to our relationships.
The fear of commitment inhibits us from experiencing stability. This is especially true regarding families, which need stability. Personal prayer and reflection is so important in becoming grounded in our relationship with God. If we never talk to someone we become strangers. Prayer allows us to become friends of God more profoundly. Surely it is true that happiness and joy should be a part of our lives, and a fruit or side effect of our faith, hope and love. Happiness is a sign of fulfillment. St. Teresa of Avila once said that she “did not want any sad saints in her convent.” She understood that people who lack happiness are not living in a way that is fulfilled.
It seems that our resolution for a “New Year” is to live as followers of Christ. We should always cultivate love, tolerance, moderation, dialogue, commitment, prayer and a happiness that expresses fulfillment. Thank you, Maria Kamerbeek for sharing these ideas with us.
-Fr. Bruce Bradley Click Here to read the full article this reflection refers to