With each new year come new hopes, new plans, and new opportunities. Fr. Mike points out that this optimism and this “spirit” of New Year’s is a great inspiration of hope for the interior life of the Christian.
For each of us, last year probably had a fair mix of “wins” and “losses” – of joy and suffering. Fr. Mike zeroes in on what was probably the worst evil and the greatest suffering you encountered last year – sin. Sin can lead to discouragement and embarrassment, and those demons can keep us from moving forward in hope. Maybe you’ve been wrestling with the same sin for a long time, or maybe you don’t want to go to the same priest about the same sin again and again. Maybe you feel like giving up.
But we can have hope – “trust in another extended into the future” – in Jesus and in the sacrament of confession. As Fr. Mike’s friend Nick says, “If you fall, fall into the confessional.” Discouragement and embarrassment have no place in the life of the Christian. They keep us in the past, while their converses – hope and humility – keep us moving forward.
This year is going to have its ups and downs, and we know we can’t trust in ourselves. But we can trust in Him in whom we place our hope. Happy New Year!
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He is a presenter in Ascension’s Chosen, Altaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents.