Courage and Resolve

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

New Year’s Day for many of us is a good time, at least a fashionable time, to make resolutions. Many resolve to exercise daily after all the food they have taken the past few days. Some resolve that they would be kinder to their families and to others. Others resolve to spend less because they spent so much already the past two months in preparation for Christmas. Still some resolve to take their medicines more religiously. And many others resolve to go to Church more faithfully. Are not these necessary?

Our experience, though, shows us that we are a people of flowery resolutions, at the same time we are also a people of unjustifiable postponements. We postpone many times our scheduled prayers because there are more attractive TV shows and movies. We postpone visiting sick relatives and friends because there are other exciting activities in town. We postpone saying “I love you” to the people who matter most in our life, or saying “I’m sorry” to the persons we have hurt for fear of not being accepted. We postpone helping the needy for fear of losing something we don’t like to give away. We postpone spending precious time with our families because of more pressing activities at work. We postpone receiving the sacraments because there are many more days ahead. We even postpone studying because we think we are still young and strong. We postpone many important things to do because of bashfulness, fear or pride.

Unnecessary postponement carries a judgment on ourselves that we have lost opportunities, time and energy. Of course, we do not disregard certain amount of fear in us when we have to do something, but the courage we need is also a gift from God. “Courage is fear that has said its prayers,” writes Dorothy Bernard.

Mary had fears. Joseph had fears. The shepherds were afraid. But they did not postpone their decision. They trusted in God’s providence and in His promise. And they were not disappointed. They had the courage to do what was asked of them because they had said their prayers.

We, too have fears: personal, economic, environmental, social, spiritual, and many others. What we should fear most of all is falling into the web of deception that we will fail in our endeavors, for the devil uses even our virtues, especially our fears. Postponing things that we have to do anyway or not doing them at all, only brings heavier remorse and a sense of waste of time and opportunity; and that is a heavy burden to carry.

If today we can resolve to do one little thing, like, avoiding harsh words, the day will be happier for everyone. If tomorrow we can resolve to act on important priorities and spend a little more time with the family, everyone will have a lighter day. If the next day we can resolve to eat healthy foods and do a little exercise for a certain amount of time, we will feel livelier. If the next day again we resolve to pray for 10 or 15 minutes a day, then our decisions will be guided by the Holy Spirit. If we just resolve daily to do some little good to somebody and show our good qualities, then we will reap the blessings of the past days and years lived in simple and attainable resolutions. Our families and our community will be peaceful, lively, and happy.

We can use Mary’s very powerful tool to come closer to Jesus: the Rosary. Amidst the distractions of life, the glittering things of the world and the cares of our hearts, we can get into the Heart of Mary by praying the Rosary. It is one of God’s favorite music. To those who pray the Rosary everyday Mother Mary promises that She will not abandon them in the present life and at the hour of their death. Their names will ever be written in Her loving Heart.

On this first day of the year, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, we listen to what she tells us: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). Having said our prayers, we gain the courage to do our responsibilities more faithfully, for we are no longer slaves but sons, and if a sons then also heirs of His Kingdom (Gal 4:7).

Pray, and pray for peace. Have courage to face a Blessed New Year.

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