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We should be grateful for another year that God has given us. Let us ask him for an increase of the precious virtue of faith; he knows we will need it.

It is not easy to walk in faith, but this is the only way that is open to us these days, when one can almost hear the world cracking apart, the trembling of the Church which seems at times sitting astride an earthquake zone.

No, it is not easy, but we have to continue to pray for that faith so that, full of hope, we might love.

It is the fruit of that faith and hope and love that the Lord bends and picks up, and with it he changes the world. He allows his Church to expand because one or two or more people believe, hope, and love.

The Mother of God will teach us how to remain people of faith. Let us walk in faith, and it will grow and grow.

This new year is ours to shape, in Christ or outside of him.

Adapted from Grace in Every Season, (2001), January 1, p. 19-20, available from MH Publications