A Year Of Contentment

by Rev. Mark Connolly

A year of contentment is partially achieved by developing a personal belief in yourself. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that many of our actions, our mannerisms are often based on what others will say about us or think about us. Basically other people have standards for us and expectations about us. All of which is okay if it does not teach us to act for the wrong reason. The young person who becomes a doctor, nurse, teacher or lawyer just for the sake of his or her parents and for no other reason, is doing a disservice to himself or herself. Just look at the increasing number of suicides among professional people such as psychologists, dentists and surgeons.

A personal belief in yourself means you take yourself as you are, with all your talents and liabilities, and you do your best on a one day at a time basis. A personal belief in yourself should remind you that God has given you talents and abilities that he has given to no one else. You are a person who is unique and you have a mission that is different from anyone else's is God's gift. A personal belief in yourself means that your value system, your principles and your convictions will enable you, if properly channeled to become successful without becoming uptight, will enable you to realize that the less you follow the convictions of others and the more you follow your own the more peace you will have. A personal belief in yourself should find you constantly selling yourself to yourself, teaching yourself that yesterday is past, tomorrow has not come and today is your day to work on your future and your salvation.

The second requisite for a year of contentment is to develop a more personal relationship with God. The people who are criticizing the Church for doing this or not doing that are the people who are missing the opportunity to grow in holiness - or to deepen their relationship with God. The only spiritual thing that matters right now is your relationship with God. What are you personally going to do this year to foster a closer relationship with God? Sigmund Freud believed that some of his neuroses were due to the indifferent and negative attitude he had about God.

1999 has to be a year of greater prayer, greater meditation, greater reflection on what your relationship with God is all about. The scriptural passage that asks us, "What does it profit a man if he gives the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul?", does have relevance.

To have a personal belief in yourself, to have a deeper personal belief in God, these will not only help make 1999 become a year of success and achievement for you, they will also contribute to making 1999 a year of contentment.

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