New Year’s Eve

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

New Year’s Eve

Deacon Lex Ferrauiola

Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been in love with the month of September. September has always symbolized a new beginning, a fresh start, a second chance to heal whatever is broken in our lives. This excitement and sense of renewal probably goes back to the start of each new school year and all the enthusiasm that went with it. But for all the many, many years that I’ve been out of school, I’ve never lost my love for September and the chance to start fresh one more time.

As part of this annual rebirth each September, I always go through a sort of long New Year’s Eve so to speak. It usually starts around mid August. It is a time for reflection; a time to look deep within and ask myself if there are still any obstacles to God’s unconditional love that I am refusing to let go of. As human beings, one of the biggest of these obstacles can be anger — anger that we might harbor for being hurt or abandoned by someone we loved and trusted very deeply.

Jesus says that when someone hurts us we must forgive. He tells us that the greatest gift we can give to another person and to ourselves is the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of letting go of the past and accepting someone back into our heart; of extending our hand and allowing ourselves once more to be vulnerable to another. Jesus tells us that we must forgive unconditionally — that there can be no bounds, no strings, no limits to the amount of times we let someone back into our heart.

To genuinely forgive someone in the way that Jesus calls for, we must be willing to accept the reality that a person’s faults and personality quirks will probably not disappear overnight. Jesus asks us to forgive even when the person who hurt us is not sorry; or even when we know that despite someone’s sincere apology, they are likely to hurt us again. He asks us to look into the eyes of someone who has hurt us deeply and to show that someone love and acceptance instead of anger and rejection.

To forgive is a choice that God gives us. When we forgive, we choose life, and love and a relationship for ourselves and for others. We relieve ourselves of the burden of carrying around hurt, pain and anger. By so doing we are opening the door for true healing to occur; healing within ourselves; healing within another; and maybe even healing of a relationship. And we give someone else the freedom to live their life — or maybe to rest in peace — with the knowledge that they are loved without strings.

So, as we walk through these early days of September, this long New Year’s Eve, let us ask God for the gift of forgiveness for any hurts we may have inflicted on others; and let us pray for the grace to forgive and to reach out to others to heal whatever remains broken in our lives.

With love, Deacon Lex

Lex Ferrauiola is a husband, father, grandfather and a Catholic deacon serving as a pastoral minister and hospital chaplain within the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. His newest book, All Shall Be Well: Finding God Among the Pots and the Pans is available now.

$12.00 available at and through local booksellers (ISBN-13 979-8767368921)

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