Our resolutions … or God’s plan?

New Year is a time for the making of resolutions to improve the quality of our life, based on an evaluation of our lifestyle in the past twelve months, and looking forward hopefully to a new beginning, a fresh start.

Listening to people on the radio advocating various resolutions, for example, taking more exercise, dieting etc., I was struck by the fact that they all presume they can plan for the year ahead and make commitments with no reference to God and His will for them. When making a resolution, should we not always add, “God willing”? For we do not know the day nor the hour …

As Christians, we need to discern God’s resolutions for us before we decide on our own. And when we do discern God’s will, we need to implore the grace we need to carry out whatever task is planned. In fact, we might be better taking things one day at a time if the resolution is very challenging. For people like Jesus and Mary, it is hard to think of them making New Year resolutions, when every day of their lives was governed by the resolve to do God’s will.

All our resolutions, then, must be conditional on what God has in mind for us in His providence. This time last year, for instance, the friars and people of Athlone and Clonmel had little thought in making plans for the year ahead that an announcement would be made to withdraw from these locations after hundreds of years of faithful presence.

This week will see two desperately sad “celebrations” of farewell Masses in those towns. Our hearts go out to those affected, including our Minister Provincial, Aidan, as he has to officiate at these mournful rituals. We also welcome our brothers, Gabriel and Salvador who will be joining our community here in Multy.

Kieran ofm