Monday, January 02, 2006

The New Year of Eternity

As we enter into a new year, the inevitable looking back as well as the resolutions for moving forward are at the forefront of many a person's thoughts. Once again I turn to St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, for guidance in moving ahead to the new year.

There are days and hours when man's views become broader and deeper, when he looks out over the narrow confines of this temporal life into eternity; there are days and hours when man is involuntarily urged, more than usually, to weigh himself and those belonging to him in the scales of eternity. New Year's day is a day of this kind. The New Year reminds us so vividly of the change and the instability of all earthly things, and of our own frailty; the New Year tells us that we have taken another long stride toward eternity; the New Year recalls to our mind these two words, so full of meaning, "Transitory," "Eternal."

The year just departing brought to many people not joy alone, but a great deal of suffering, but with the good days, the bad days passed over, too; the trouble is overcome; tears which flowed have been dried again. And if, perhaps, some of us have to take our old troubles with us into the New Year, let that not discourage us; some day even the greatest sorrow will have an end, when the New Year of eternity dawns for us.

My oldest son and I watched Return of the King last night, and one song in particular from the movie brought me back to St. Vianney's thoughts as we face a new year. Billy Boyd did a marvelous job of composing and singing this dirge-like accapella during Faramir's suicidal charge on the overwhelming forces of the enemy. But if you take the lyrics in another context, say, facing a new year, I think they are as poignant. Home (our safe, known past) is indeed behind us in the past of 2005, but in the world ahead (2006) we will indeed have many paths, and many choices, ahead of us. Some will be extremely difficult and challenging, and even life-altering. But as St. Vianney alludes to in his saying that "all sorrow will have an end", so too will the mist and the shadow fade.

Home is behind
The world ahead.
And there are many paths to tread.

Through shadow,
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall...fade.

1 Comments:

At 12:56 PM, Blogger No gift to bring.. said...

Amen.

Beautiful, all of it.

 

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