New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions: A tradition, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.

At the beginning of this year Pope Francis asked us to do several things. The list sounds remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions.

Mark Twain said, “Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community.”

Once, a young boy and his older brother found some of their dad’s cigars, took them to the garage and tried a few puffs. The youngest whippersnapper commenced to be violently ill and resolved to avoid smoking for the rest of his life. He should have listened to Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican because of health concerns. The motive is very simple: “The Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement. The Pope also said: Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.

A wise sage said I need to start eating more healthy. So, I decided to eat all of the junk food in my apartment so it won’t tempt me anymore.

The Pope gives better advice, “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

Louis E. Boone noted, “The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.

Pope Francis said, “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

Odgen Nash pointed out on the topic of “spend less, save more:” I first thought they were talking about our government! Alas, how many future generations will be born already in debt? Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.

Pope Francis said, “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

Samuel T. Clemens, who wrote under the pen name of Mark Twain, once lamented about the time he spent with his children: “We’re always too busy for our children. We lavish gifts upon them, praise them in their absence, but the most precious gift, our time and attention which means so much to them, we give grudgingly, and then throw it away on others that don’t really matter. Then, one day there comes a time when you want your child’s company more than anything in the world, but it’s too late.”

The Holy Father said, “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”

One tradition I remember is that my father would join several neighborhood men in firing their shotguns into the air at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1. Perhaps it came from the ancient German tradition of shooting guns to ward off evil spirits.

Are guns bad? I would rather listen to Pope Francis when he said, “May his redeeming strength transform arms into plowshares, destruction into creativity, hatred into love and tenderness.”

Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese, and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.  

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