“Better Days”

by Deacon Stephen Bowling

I hope you won’t think me too weird here, but I have a silly little ritual I always perform every New Year’s Eve. It’s something that forces me to look both backwards and forwards at the same time and spiritually reflect upon my life, and just how well I am fulfilling God’s plan – or not, as the case may be.

On New Year’s Eve, sometime before the ball drops at midnight, I go off to a quiet place and I play the song “Better Days” by the Goo-Goo Dolls, several times, over and over. I am mesmerized by those particular words from the song that say, “Tonight’s the night the world begins again.” It reminds me that once again, we get another new start, or maybe a fresh perspective, or at least a renewed way of “doing better” in the coming year.

“Better” is really the operative word here . . . hence my love of the song.

As the song plays, I think of many things where we can “do better”. How we can better work for the sanctity of life? How we can better serve families in need? How we can better be the face, hands and voice of Christ to everyone we encounter? And perhaps most important of all, how we can just be better at becoming saints, pure and simple?

Just as the song also says, “Take these words, and sing out loud, for everyone’s forgiven now”, so we need to remember that better days are always available to us at any time, not just as the year changes. Forgiveness for our sins and reorientation of our lives towards Christ is always available to us via the sacraments. Christ has indeed come . . . and he has brought healing with him.

“Better” is very much what we should always be about becoming . . . and Christ himself has shown us the way.

May “better days” be in your future . . . both now and always.



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