Welcoming the New Year with hope and resolve

CANON NIALL AHERN

Published 18/12/2012 | 18:06

A new year stand on my doorstep, ready to enter my life's journey. Something in me welcomes this visitor: The hope of bountiful blessings. The joy of a new beginning. The freshness of unclaimed surprises. Something in me rebuffs this visitor: The swiftness of the coming. The boldness of the entrance. The challenge of a year's good-bye. Something in me fears this visitor: The unnamed events of future days. The wisdom needed to walk love well. The demands of giving away and growing. A new year stands on my doorstep. With fragile caution I move To open the door for its entrance. My heart leaps with surprise. Joy jumps in my eyes. For there beside this brand New Year Stands my God with outstretched hand. He smiles and gently asks of me: Can we walk this year together? I, so overwhelmed with goodness, Can barely whisper a reply: Welcome in! Amen

In Ireland's moral and economic low tide, the beginning of a New Year can only be entered with a certain kind of tenderness.

We will need to act justly and love tenderly and walk humbly as we make these first steps in 2013.

We must also have the courage to begin again with courage of heart.

Begin with an awareness of God's empowering in our lives.

Begin again with the confidence of knowing there is renewal and new growth and hope beyond our threatened dreams.

As Brendan Kenneally's poem urges us â?“ we must forever, begin again. BEGIN AGAIN Begin again to the calling birds To the sight of light at the window. Begin to the roar of morning traffic. Every beginning is a promise Born in light and dying in dark. Determination and exaltation of springtime. Flowering the way to work. Begin to the arrogance loneliness of swans in the canal. To bridges linking the past and future. To old friends passing though with us still. Begin to the loneliness that cannot end Since it perhaps is what makes us begin. Begin to wonder at unknown faces. At branches stark in the winter sunlight. At seagulls foraging for bread. At couples sharing a sunny secret Alone together while making good. Though we live in a world that dreams of ending That always seem about to give in Something that will not acknowledge conclusion Insists that we forever begin - begin again.

Our Thought for the week is: Begin this New Year with resolve and quiet hope.

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