The start of a new year is like the start of a new day—while incapable of changing the past, we can certainly do in the present moment that which we wish we’d done in the past, so as to make the future better.
I started this new year fulfilling one of my goals, which is to read more. So I started reading Peter Kreeft’s book “Prayer for Beginners” and he gives fantastic advice that, if heeded, will make our year, and days, better. Consider his insight:
“Eating keeps your body alive, and prayer keeps your soul alive. Praying is more important than eating because your soul is more important than your body. Your soul is more important than your body because your soul is you, your personality, your self. You will get a new body after death, in the resurrection at the end of the world. But you will not get a new soul…Praying keeps your soul alive because prayer is real contact with God, and God is the life of the soul as the soul is the life of the body. If you do not pray, your soul will wither and die, just as, if you do not eat, your body will wither and die.
“Three reasons God commands us to pray correspond to our three deepest needs, the fundamental needs of the three powers of our soul: prayer gives truth to our mind, goodness to our will, and beauty to our heart. ‘The true, the good, and the beautiful’ are the three things we need and love the most, because they are three attributes of God.
“Prayer gives truth to our mind because it puts us in the presence of Truth itself, the divine Mind who designed our minds and our lives and our whole universe. It gives goodness to our will because it puts us ‘on line’ with God, in love with the God who is love and goodness. That is his essence. In prayer we become like the God we pray to and conform to; we catch the good infection of Godliness by contact. It gives beauty to our heart because plunges us into the heart of God, which is the eternal energy of infinite joy. That is why it gives us joy and peace and delight and happiness.”
So as we enter another year, let’s remember that if we are going to eat each day, all the more we should pray each day. And as many say that the most important meal is breakfast, so too will praying at the beginning of our days be transformative. So let’s take time to be still, to be silent, and to communicate with the God who loved us into being.