A New Year Message to Fellow Paulinians

Posted on December 30, 2023

As I sit to write this New Year message to you, my fellow Paulinians, I feel a little hesitation…because this year that is drawing to a close has not exactly been a happy one.  Happiness is equated with peace, love, and joy.  But 2023 has not really been equated with peace, love, and joy. 

Is there peace on Earth? Hardly.  There are wars, there is violence, there are countless examples of man’s inhumanity to man.  The Earth herself has suffered from man’s selfishness and disregard for its land, sea, and air…and she has lashed back with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, forest fires and floods.

Is there love on Earth?  Some.  But in many cases, it is overcome by jealousy, and hatred, and greed.  In other cases, love is directed to the wrong things, like money, and power, and worldly desires.

Is there joy on Earth?  Yes, there is.  But there is also sadness, and pain, even despair.  There are heartrending stories of long and painful diseases, of sudden and unprepared deaths, of accidents and suicides and murders.  Many of us have lost loved ones, some even at the time of greatest revelry that is Christmas.

So, I ask myself, what message shall I write to you, my fellow Paulinians, fellow Filipinos, fellow Christians.  And the answer comes loud and clear: Happy New Year.  We confidently close the book on 2023, with all its tears and fears, all its heartaches and heartbreaks—because amidst all these, there is still HOPE! Pandora’s box released all the ills in the world, but in the end, she released hope, and man rose up from the rubble and faced the sun.  And as God’s children, we have much more than Pandora’s hope.  We have hope in the Father, who so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son.

My dear fellow Paulinians, let us hold on to this hope, and together with faith and love, let us link our hearts and minds together and ardently, fervently, passionately wish one another “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

RICKI ARCHES
President, SPMAFI



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