In this week’s blog Fr Paddy reminds us that a healthy resolution may well be to simply enjoy the time we have, to the best of our abilities and embrace each new day.


Fr Paddy Byrne has a weekly column in the Nationalist Papers.

This column appeared in the edition published 30th December 2009

Every New Year marks an opportunity to begin again. There are many feelings that we can experience as we now enter the journey of 2010. The reality for so many of us is that things can only get better. I am sure this has been a terrible Christmas for so many good people who have found themselves overburdened as a consequence of unemployment and debt. One hopes that this year will bring a recovery to our economic crisis, and that those most affected by cut backs and recession will begin to feel a sense of renewed confidence.

Our Church, despite the crisis it finds itself in, has a real opportunity to begin in a new way. Leadership must be open to a real dialogue and humble enough to consider the enormous task in rebuilding public confidence. We must never forget the horror and fall-out of the Ryan and Murphy Reports. Perhaps our conversion will come from the reality of victims whose courage made this dark secret public.

Young people face a huge amount of uncertainty at this time, and yet we can all learn from their enthusiastic hopeful spirit. In the same way, there are so many voluntary agencies responding to the needs of others at this time. It is the energy of youth, the spirit of volunteerism that gives me great hope when I consider the future. We look forward to a new springtime, a time of new beginnings and an opportunity for all of us to begin again.

Hopefully we have in our hearts a sense of enthusiasm as we embrace the many opportunities that accompany a new year. For many January, can however be the most difficult time of the year. There may quickly be the realisation that things remain the same, the same fears and burdens seem to accompany us and time simply seems to pass us by. The resolutions we endeavor to achieve can quickly be lost in the routine of our day to day lives.

It is a humbling reflection to realise that none of us no matter how precious and necessary are indispensible. With this realisation a healthy resolution may well be to simply enjoy the time we have, to the best of our abilities and embrace every new day. Patrick Kavanagh speaks beautifully of new beginnings and opportunities when he tells us that

Christ has come in his January flower.

May the New Year be an occasion not to be overwhelmed and burdened by the demands made of us. May we be generous especially to the quality of time we give to our families and those whom we love and care for.

There is so much to be done and so little time to do it. May we attend to the New Year with hope. Lord Bless all who we know and love with health, peace and happiness.