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Dec 2016

A RESOLUTION FOR THE COMING YEAR!

Rajni Manoj recalls one of her most effective New Year’s resolutions.

New Year Resolutions

As we come up to Christmas and the New Year we often start to think about our New Year resolutions and make a list of the things that we would like to change in our daily lives. The list usually reflects things that we are not happy about and would like to change for the better. Like most people, I have tried making a list of dos and don’ts a few times but I could never stick to them for more than a month or two. Finally I gave up making a list! But I do remember a particular year when I made a resolution that has changed my life and I’ve stuck to it ever since.

My Favourite Prayer

One of the first prayers we learn as we grow up is the ‘Our Father’ but because we learn it at a very young age, we never really think too much about the words and it becomes a part of our daily routine, I could recite it even in my sleep. I have always loved saying the ‘Our Father’ and I can’t remember a single day when I haven't said it. So what made this prayer come alive for me? One week, during Sunday Mass, the priest’s sermon was about forgiveness. He asked how many of us believe that when we pray God will answer our prayers. Most of our hands went up. Then he asked how many of us said our prayers and really meant them. Again most hands went up. He then asked how many of us understood the meaning of the words, “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?” Now there was a pause…an awkward silence. I sat there and thought to myself, “Do I really mean every word of my favourite prayer?” Each day I was telling God not to forgive me if I didn’t forgive others. Every time I said the ‘Our Father’, I was saying to God that I didn’t deserve forgiveness if I couldn’t forgive others! Jesus said, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

Experience Peace

My resolution since then is that before I pray the ‘Our Father’, I always tell my heavenly Father that I forgive all those who have hurt me in any way and I ask for His grace to forgive those whom I find difficult to forgive. I now find that forgiving others and saying the ‘Our Father’ always makes me let go of the hurt that I feel and it helps me to pray for others. Pope Francis says that the world needs forgiveness. He says that too many people are living with resentment and hold onto hatred because they cannot forgive. They ruin their lives and the lives of those around them, rather than accepting the joy of serenity and peace that only comes when we can forgive others.

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