Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

As we look forward to another new year, I have put together some New Year’s resolutions or New Year’s New Beginnings as I like to call them.

It is a time for giving thanks for blessings received, asking forgiveness for transgressions committed, forgiving those who have aggrived us, and asking grace and strength for the future.

Already, just as the New Year begins, we are aware of needing to make decisions about both our past and future. We cannot reject the past, but we can allow it to be redeemed. We cannot determine the future, but we can allow it to be permeated with the love and the mercy of God.

I can look back on 2014 and the resolutions or new beginnings that I made and see how often I have failed to live up to those, I can look forward in hope to trying to live my resolutions or new beginnings better in 2015, but, most of all, I can decide, here and now, to try to live today as it should be lived, because ‘today’ is all we ever really know.

So, for me, no New Year’s resolutions as such, only New Year’s new beginnings and a renewed sense of purpose about what I am called to be and do.

New Beginnings for 2015

Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. God will listen, if you only speak. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance. Search of yourself, be yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you but no one can walk it for you. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best beds and treat them with respect and honour. Do not take what is not yours. If it was not earned or given, it’s not yours. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth—whether it’s a person, animal or plant. Honour other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the world will multiply when it returns to you. Everyone makes mistakes. All mistakes can be forgiven. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practise optimism!

Nature is not for us, it is a part of us. It is part of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow. Avoid hurting the hearts of others, especially those of children. The poison of your pain will return to you. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within this world. Keep yourself balanced. Your mental self, spiritual self, emotional self and physical self all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ailments. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first. Respect other’s beliefs. Do not force your belief on others. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, or indeed for the new year, never forget how very important and how very special each and every one of us is in this life.