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Balance of the year

Fr. Mamerto Menapace, OSB - Mon, Dec 31st 2012

My perception as I get older is that there are no bad years. There are years of hard learning and others like a break, but they are not bad. I firmly believe that the way a year should be evaluated would have more to do with how we were able to love, to forgive, to laugh, to learn new things, having challenged our egos and our attachments.

So we should not be afraid of suffering or the dreaded failure, because both are just instances of learning. We have a hard time understanding that life and how to live it is up to us; how we engage with things we do not want depends only on the cultivation of the will. If I do not like the life I have, I must develop strategies to change it, but it is in my will power to do it. "Being happy is a choice," let's not forget that.

Then, with these criteria I wondered what I had to do to build a good year because we are all in the way of learning every day to be better and to understand that we came into this life to three things: -to learn to love -to make a mark -to be happy. In these three things we should work every day; the issue is how and I think there are three factors that help in these points:

Learning to love the responsibility as an instance of growth. The work, paid or unpaid, dignifies the soul and spirit and makes us well on our mental health. Now the meaning of fatigue is seen as something negative which we should get rid of and not as the privilege of being tired because that means we're delivering the best of us.

We came to this land to tire ourselves. .... We value freedom as a way to overcome ourselves and to understand that to be free is not to do what we want. Maybe we should exercise our freedom to do what we must with pleasure and say that we are happily exhausted and so we can love more and better.

The third and final point is to cultivate the development of willpower, that wonderful talent of being able to wait, to postpone immediate gratification in pursuit of better things. Let us love and treat each other well as a country and as a family, say hello in the elevators, salute the guards, kindness to drivers of buses, smile at least once or several times a day. Loving people. Create warmth inside our homes, workplaces, and for that there must be food smell, crushed and even stained cushions, a disorder that acknowledges that there is life. Our resource-independent houses are becoming too perfect that it seems that no one lives inside.


Try to grow spiritually, whatever the vision of it. The significance and make sense of what we do has to do with spiritual intelligence. We try to dispense technology and we take a step toward, to old games, to family encounters and encounters with friends, inside the house.

We value the intimacy, the warmth and the love within our families. If we can work on this and I promise to try doing it, we have decreed to be happy, which does not relieve us of problems, but makes us understand that the only difference between someone who is happy and who is not, has nothing to do with the problems that we have but the attitude with which we face what touches us.

They say that when happiness is shared, it enlarges. And instead, with penalties it goes backwards. It shrinks. Maybe what happens is that in sharing the heart dilates. And an enlarged heart is better able to enjoy the joys and better defended for penalties not to hurt us inside.


Fr. Mamerto Menapace, OSB

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