Asking God for His Grace for the Coming Year

Raphael The Holy Family with a Palm Tree
Raphael. The Holy Family with a Palm Tree. (1506) National Gallery of Scotland

At the close of the year, it is natural for us to take stock of our lives. As followers of Jesus Christ, we encourage one another by giving thanks for the graces that God has given to us. If we have been able to pray with devotion, to offer up penance for our sins, to help others with out kindness and charity, we recognise that we have received the help of Almighty God who is generous in prompting us to good, and giving us strength.

We may also be aware of our lack of response to God’s goodness, our failures in various areas of the life of grace. We do not restrict our focus to these faults, but bring them with humble confidence to Our Lord in confession, knowing that we will receive His mercy and help.

For the beginning of the New Year, we invoke the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity, to set us on fire with His love. Many people make resolutions at the start of the year, and again it is natural for us to do so. Our beautiful Catholic faith helps us by teaching us to examine our conscience so that we know the particular helps that we need to ask for. We can also ask Jesus, Mary and Joseph to encourage us and protect us in the shelter of the Holy Family of Nazareth.