Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I am sure you wished someone a "Happy New Year"  this year and were wished the same  in return. It is a simple fact though that none of us, however much we do wish it, can in anyway know, predict or control the events and circumstances that await us unforseen in the year ahead. At Christmas we wrap up gifts for each other, usually things we hardly need, more a way of wrapping up a bit of love, an attempt to say that we long to enrich each others lives, to give the things that are wanted or needed so much.

The things we want and need most cannot usually be gift wrapped anymore than a " Happy New Year" can be granted by uttering those words. The things we need most -  fulfilling relationships, employment that boosts our self worth and gives us a means of support, good health, and a freedom from worry about our loved ones, whose difficulties can tear at our hearts more than our own problems- are often beyond our control. I know that a number of my friends, acquaintances and even several readers of this blog are facing difficulties and uncertainty as 2011 stretches ahead of them. I know people for whom employment, finances, health, family and relationships are all uncertain or presenting them with complex and painful problems.

And yet despite the emptiness of the gifts and the well wishes, the love and kindness that lies behind them is a source of hope and comfort to most of us. I would say that faith too is a source of hope and comfort, and of course it is, but I also know people this year who are struggling with issues around their faith, either doubts and questions, or simply a disillusion with the Church, either generally on on a personal level.

This year was a difficult one for me in many ways; I also have my fears and worries for  the year ahead.  I will wish you a "Happy New Year", and say that I really wish that I could grant it to you and vice versa! I  sincerely hope and pray that throughout this year your difficulties will not be too great, but that if and when they are, you will find in yourself, your family, your friends, your faith, a source of hope and strength.