New Year Resolutions
Happy New Year! Yes, we’re still living in annus horribilis MMXX, but yesterday we began a new liturgical year, another cycle of feast and fasts, commemorations and celebrations, designed to help us remember that life in the world is not – as seems to have settled in on the secular level – just “one damned thing after another.”
I wrote here earlier in the year that, in Christian perspective, God permits scourges like plagues, widespread rioting, political upheavals in order to bring some good out of them, usually as a sharp reminder that we ought to change our lives. He isn’t vindictive; he’s just administering a kind of slap in the face to our hysteria, intended to bring us to our senses. That’s almost the whole of the Old Testament in a nutshell.
We ought to have spent these past, severely trying, months figuring out what we, individually and in common, were supposed to get out of this non-ordinary time, and to live accordingly. If we didn’t, that’s on us.
When you are faced with the truth that you are not in control of your life, that the usual institutions and authorities aren’t either, that you need to look elsewhere than you have been for the way forward, at the very least it should bring you to a bedrock humility and recognition of reality.