A New Year – A New Beginning

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Celebrating a New Year is celebrating a new beginning. It gives us a starting point for seeking God. A New Year is a serious moment in which we stand and look where we are and where we should be. It is an opportunity to reflect on whatever changes need to be made in our lives. These changes can be made with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is a change in our behavior and our way of living to a better life. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

New Year’s Resolutions by the Desert Fathers

Never stop starting over, every day can be made a new beginning.” “My God, do not abandon me. I have done nothing good before Thee, but grant me, in Thy compassion, the power to make a start.” (Arsenios)

Live intentionally, not aimlessly, think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God. For to journey without direction is wasted effort. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Never, ever despair, no matter what, “Let us eagerly draw near to Christ, and let us not despair of our salvation. For it is a trick of the devil to lead us to despair by reminding us of our past sins.” (St. Makarios). “When someone is defeated after offering stiff resistance, he should not give up in despair. Let him take heart, encouraged by the words. . . . God raises up all who are bowed down (Psalm 145:14). Do all in your power not to fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times. . . . rise up again each time.” (St. John of Karpathos)

Pray simply, “Often when I have prayed I have asked for what I thought was good, and persisted in my petition, and not leaving it to the will of God to arrange things as He knows is best for me. But when I have obtained what I asked for, I have been very sorry that I did not ask for the will of God to be done; because the thing turned out not to be as I had thought.” (Evagrios the Solitary)

Renounce all self-justification, “We have put aside the easy burden, which is self-accusation, and weighed ourselves down with the heavy one, self-justification.” (John the Dwarf)

Acknowledge your brokenness, “The person who has come to know the weakness of human nature has gained experience of divine power. Such a person never belittles anyone. . . . He knows that God is like a good and loving physician who heals with individual treatment each of those who are trying to make progress.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

Starting a new year is also a time to reflect on God’s blessing throughout our lives.

Look Back on His Blessings, God is always faithful, and if we look at the past year, we’ll find that he has been with us, and has been working in our lives – even when we don’t realize it!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

May Year 2019 be full of blessings and great joy for all of us! +