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The New Year is a secular holiday that marks when we turn our calendars over. That doesn’t mean we can’t approach it with spiritual eyes. 

The ways in which we measure time, even in secular affairs, have their roots in the church. You may have noticed that the calendar new year falls only shortly after Christ the King Sunday welcomes the new liturgical year.

One of the key elements of celebrating the new year is to set resolutions. As with any goal, the best way to get started is to pray to God for the necessary grace and guidance.

Lord,

Help me approach this New Years Day as a point of consideration and construction rather than a day of only celebration and revelry. 

Help me to not only look not only forward in hope but backward in understanding and gratitude.

At this time of reflection and renewal help me see my life not as a series of years but a series of seasons. Remind me, Lord, both in moments of happiness and in moments of pain, that “for everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). 

Remind me that if today brings suffering, tomorrow may bring peace, and that while I may feel at peace today, I may need to call upon You for help again tomorrow. 

Help me to understand that all that I am and all that I have was given to me freely, of Your will, that I may offer it back to You in my service and love of others.

On this holiday, dedicated to leaving the past behind us, I pray that you will help me recognize my past as being a part of who I am—even though parts of it were difficult, confusing, and painful. 

I pray that You will help me to see, as I look back, that You were always with me. Remind me that even my moments of weakness can help me move forward in my faith with virtue and humility. In the year ahead, help me “fight the good fight” even when I feel that I am losing ground.

I also pray, O Lord, that as I join others in setting goals for myself in the year ahead, that you will help me look further ahead to eternal life with You in heaven. 

Guide me in this new year to make choices that will not only make me happier and healthier on earth but more joyful in my soul and stronger in my faith.

As I work on improving myself, help me to be mindful that everyone is a work in progress.

Help me to be inspired rather than envious and to be compassionate rather than derisive.

Help me to look for You, O Lord, in the face of others, and to always strive to reflect You in my interactions.

Most of all, Lord, remind me that it is Your will—not my will—that must be done. 

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In any goals that I set today and any decisions I make throughout the year, help me through Your divine guidance to let my actions match Your will.

Help me, Lord, each day, to live a life that is further from sin and closer to Your grace. In this new year, help me become more worthy of serving You, that I may be of more use in your service. 

Accept Lord, in this new year, all of my struggles, triumphs, and works that I do in Your name.

Accept, also, all of my sufferings, that they may bring me closer to you as a small reflection of your suffering for me on the cross.

Amen.

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