There’s a Chestertonism for every day of the year; why should the first be any exception? On this third day of 2019, here’s the big man himself:
The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.
I’ve broken my nose three times – once wrestling, twice boxing – and would be glad for a new one. But plastic surgery is expensive, and I’m getting married in August, so I’ll soldier on with the mangled thing I’ve got between my eyes.
A new soul, on the other hand, doesn’t cost a red cent. Christ paid for mine – and yours, incidentally – when he sacrificed himself upon the Cross. And where gym memberships can get pricey, too, taking better care of ourselves spiritually is always benefits our physical and mental health as well.
For instance: to guard against gluttony, I resolve drink less gin and eat smaller portions – both of which will help me fit into my morning suit, too. I’m also going to be more charitable online. Instead of picking fights on Twitter, I’ll say an Act of Love for my opponents. No doubt that would bring down my blood pressure as well.
There are lots of ways for us Catholics to make a fresh start of our ourselves in the New Year. One might resolve to abstain from meat on Friday. Another might choose to double their contribution to the collection-plate on Sunday. Again, Mass every morning and a Rosary every night doesn’t cost us anything but our time.
Here’s another suggestion: subscribe to the Catholic Herald. I know: that sounds utterly shameless. But I believe with all my heart that, come next December 31, you’ll be grateful you did.
We break down the Herald’s content into three types: news, analysis, and celebrations. The first two are especially important in this time of crisis in the Faith. Not only do we keep you informed of the day’s events, but we also put the facts in their proper context. A well-informed laity is essential to deep, authentic reform. We don’t regurgitate Vatican talking-points and we don’t tolerate mindless Pope-bashing. We trade in the facts. That’s it.
The third category, however, may be even more important. Our “celebrations” of Catholicism – of our ancient traditions, greatest saints, outstanding priests, cherished artists, and extraordinary laypeople – deliver the most critical and enduring truth of all: Holy Mother Church is more than her bad bishops. She’s much, much more.
For examples of these celebration pieces (here comes another plug), check out my features on the heroic martyrdom of St. Thomas More, the surreal faith of Andy Warhol, the beer-brewing Trappists of St. Joseph Abbey, and the Thomistic Institute’s academic missionaries. This was a terrible year to be a Catholic journalist, but writing these features reminded me why I love my job. As we put a terrible year for all Catholics behind us, I hope reading them also reminds you why you love Holy Mother Church.
That’s what the Herald is here for. We bring you the bad news, which changes day by day; but we also proclaim the Good News, which is everlasting. We’ll keep you armed with the facts, and we’ll never stop reminding you what it is you – we – are fighting for.
So, a happy New Year from everyone at the Catholic Herald and we hope you enjoy the rest of your Christmastide. Raise a your Catholic cocktail of choice to 2019. Here’s hoping she gives us a kinder send-off than 2018.
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