Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Prayer for the End of the Year: A Strange Thing Called Time

new years ball drop.jpg

Pope Benedict XVI writes a beautiful reflection about the concept of “time” and about how the end of the year offers us hope, peace, and an opportunity for change and conversion:

The year is ending. This means, as always, that we spend a few minutes in reflection. We draw up balance-sheets and make an effort to anticipate what the future may bring. For a moment we become conscious of the strange thing called “time,” which otherwise we simply use without thinking about it. We feel both the melancholy and the consolation of our own transiency. Much that caused us distress, much that weighed us down and seemed to make progress impossible, has now passed and become quite unimportant. As we look back, difficult days are transfigured in memory, and the now almost forgotten distress leaves us more peaceful and confident, more composed in the face of present threats, for these too will pass. The consolation of transiency: Nothing lasts, no matter how important it claims to be. 


But this consoling thought, which gives patience its character of promise, also has its discouraging and saddening aspect. Nothing lasts, and therefore along with the old year not only difficulties but much that is beautiful has passed away, and the more we move beyond the midpoint of our lives, the more poignantly we feel this change of what was once future and then present into something past. We cannot say to any moment: “Stay a while! You are so lovely!” Anything that is within time comes and then passes away.

Our feelings toward the new year show the same ambivalence as our feelings toward the old year. A new beginning is something precious; it brings hope and possibilities as yet undisclosed. “Every beginning has a magic about it that protects us and helps us live” (Herman Hesse) … What can we say at this moment of transition? First of all, we can do the very human thing the moment urges upon us: we can use the time of reflection in order to stand aside and widen our vision, thus gaining inner freedom and a patient readiness to move on again.


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  • Kati

    Thank you, Therese, for bringing this reality into such clarity. This one’s a keeper. It will be printed out and kept in my journal. I hope 2009 brings love and laughter to you and your family. Again, thank you.

  • Chrisitne

    I so needed to read this today.
    I was guided here from my quote of the day.
    Thank you- after a tumultuous time- I need to start with today and remember, “that much that weighed us down and seemed to make progress impossible, has now passed…” And let the memories pass that lead to my despair & sorrow. Sorrow is from love. And that love is what will lead my heart out of the sorrow. Today is the day! For yesterday was exhausting and I have hope for today and tomorrow!

  • Peg

    Our Pope Benedict has such a clear way with words. They say that the only thing for sure is death and taxes and I would add the passing of time. Bittersweet but I must remember more often the hope of everlasting life to make all of the ups and downs worthwhile.

  • Marie

    Such an achingly beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing it with us Therese – it really resonated with how I am feeling on this New Year’s Eve.

  • Dominique

    This is so beautiful to share. Despite the fact that he doesn’t talk about God and the praise we ought to give Him for the moments of our lives, it is reflective and joins into the reflections of many that inspire us to have hope, faith and love to go on. Thanks Teresa
    Check this too for uplifting words:
    Really Good News that Will Change Your Life

  • sari

    Thank you Therese, I am still hanging on and praying but also celebrating each moment of time. A very blessed and happy new year to you and your family. I love your posts.

  • Holy

    This is something new for me to know. i liked to know this new things, i wasn’t aware of these ways as well before i read this post, now i will make sure that we can now pray according to these tips.
    dsi r4

  • Jill

    That was very nice.

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