May God make your year a happy one! Not by shielding you from all sorrow and pain, But by strengthening you to bear it as it comes; Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path; Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart; Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows; Not by making your life always pleasant, But by showing you when people and their causes need you most, and by making you anxious to be there to help. God's love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead. - From the Sisters of Charity of Paul the Apostle, Birmingham, England.
Aid and attend us
With every power for good to stay and guide me, comforted and inspired beyond all fear, I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me, and pass, with you, into the coming year. While all the powers of Good aid and attend us, boldly we’ll face the future, be it what may. At even, and at morn, God will befriend us, and oh, most surely on each new year’s day The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening: the long days of our sorrow still endure. Father, grant to the soul thou hast been chastening that Thou hast promised—the healing and the cure. Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving even to the dregs of pain, at thy command, we will not falter, thankfully receiving all that is given by thy loving hand. But, should it be thy will once more to release us to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine, that we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us and all our life be dedicate as thine. To-day, let candles shed their radiant greeting: lo, on our darkness are they not thy light, leading us haply to our longed-for meeting? Thou canst illumine e’en our darkest night. When now the silence deepens for our harkening, grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise from all the unseen world around us darkening their universal paean, in thy praise. While all the powers of Good aid and attend us, boldly we’ll face the future, be it what way. At even, and at morn, God will befriend us, And oh, most surely on each new year’s day! - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his final poem, written for new year 1945
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”Hebrews 10:19-25
In the end, we win
"Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise", He said. Perhaps this is why I feel such elation today. Offices stand empty, trading wanes. Footsteps instead tread parks and meadows, the soft green cushion of spring's beginnings making space around hardened hearts. The air is filled with electrical fizz, an effervescence tracing this essential collapse. I am full to the brim with hope, captivated by a rare glow of certainty: in the end, we win. Spring equinox, Somerset, England.