A new year is always a time for resolutions, a time for making new beginnings. As we begin another new year in 2017 with Donald Trump in the White House, those resolutions seem somehow even more important. I know Donald Trump, having had the pleasure of meeting him on different occasions and engaging him in lively conversation on different topics at his home in Palm Beach. I always found him easy to talk to. He was spontaneous, open, and very personable. We never spoke about politics, a subject I prefer to avoid at all costs since it mostly revolves around self-interest. Now that Mr. Trump will be our next president, we need to do some soul searching. We don’t have to agree with him in everything, but if he acts in the best interests of the country and humanity, we should support him. If he doesn’t serve the country well, then he should be held accountable. The new year is a time of hope, so let’s hope and pray for the very best from our new president.
We live in an age in which international terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and global warming have made the destruction of the planet a distinct possibility. Every year that possibility seems more real. This may seem to be a tad pessimistic, but we have to be real. The nuclear bombs and the rockets to deploy them are ready and waiting for the press of a button. Many troubled nations such as Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and India now possess nuclear weapons and can use them when they feel threatened. Other nations, like Iran, are on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons. Chemical warfare has become a science waiting for its introduction into large-scale modern war. Today, weapons are being manufactured and shipped around the world at record rates, all in the interest of greed and power and control. Add to this the destruction of the ozone layer, the problems of waste disposal and acid rain which threaten to destroy life, and you can readily appreciate that our world, our planet, is in danger. These threats to our lives are often caused by the unwillingness of world leaders and developed nations to create a way of life in which people use technology to better their lives rather than cause destruction. But this need not be the case. There is a better way, and you can provide the answer.
There is a greater need than ever for genuine spiritual and active renewal that would lead us into harmony with one another and avoid the ravages of evil. Let us make this our new year’s resolution: to be sensitive to what God has implanted in our hearts and to listen to his Word and to act on it. This is the good news for everyone in spite of all the bad news today. Begin with yourself and keep it "local." You don’t have to flit around the world attempting to solve all its problems. Bloom where you are planted. A weed is nothing more than a flower or plant out of place. Find your own place where you live and where you can do the most good.
Take that first step to reform your life, to make your environment a better place to live in, and work in. The greatest problem we face is apathy when good people do nothing but stand idly by while things crumble around them. You matter, and you can make a difference. I learned this lesson well when I was a young priest in Ireland, and set out to build a well-needed home for disabled children in County Sligo, and a home for seniors in County Kilkenny. Armed with nothing but good will, I was amazed how people responded by donating their skills, their money, and whatever else they could muster to build these facilities, debt-free. I learned that if I hadn’t taken the plunge back then, these facilities would not be standing there today. So, don’t just talk. Do something, and surprise yourself.
On this New Year, the voices of people of good will are calling us to peace, self-improvement, and brotherhood. These can be mere words and idle rhetoric unless you are able to make a real difference by putting your own house in order and working with others to create a better world.
We are living in what is called a "pluralistic" society; that is, a society or world made up of different cultures and beliefs. This blog is an example of the extent of this pluralism. People of different cultures and beliefs are reading these messages daily.
We have so much in common, and we are all searching for the truth, and for good news that binds us together, in spite of our differences. Let us begin with ourselves this new year by becoming better people, and by helping one another. Whenever you reach out to feed the hungry, whenever you clothe the naked, whenever you give drink to the thirsty, and whenever you help those in need, you are putting into practice the essential good news of the Gospel, and by this you will be judged on the last day (Matthew 25:31-46).
You can start your new year by helping someone in need. It could be a family member, it could be a neighbor, it could be a charitable organization that helps the poor. I have found it very gratifying and fulfilling, in my retirement from parish administration, to work for Cross International, an organization that helps the poorest of the poor in forty countries throughout the world. We cannot solve all of the world’s problems, but we can make a difference when we do our part in our own environment and where necessary, in other parts of the world, to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Cherish those gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love that make you a better person by putting them into practice. May you always take care of one another and be at Peace.
A happy and peaceful new year to you.
Fr. Hugh Duffy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hull, England. Born in Donegal, Ireland, he was ordained in 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. He is pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Okeechobee, Florida, where he served for 30 years and built a new Church, debt-free, in 2013. He founded Christian Community Action (CCA) in Ireland that built housing for seniors, a sheltered workshop and bakery for people with disabilities, a community center, and an addiction treatment center. Since 2013 he has traveled across America as an Outreach Priest for Cross Catholic Outreach, Inc. Duffy’s recent book, “What is This Thing Called Faith?” is a collection of meditations with reflections for readers on the sayings of Jesus. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.