In this new year of new beginnings, while we think about our lives and the meaning of life, we naturally feel the need for more integration of the various segments of our lives.  We would like to be perhaps more natural and more authentic this year.  That in itself is good and wholesome.  But how do we achieve a more natural and authentic state of being in 2014?

At the core of this question is, of course, the desire to be loved and to be more loving.  This is, I believe, the quest of every human being, not just recovering alcoholics.  However, for us in recovery, perhaps we have a better foundational point in that, in our active drinking days, we came to know isolation, loneliness, exasperation with self, and darkness that cast a spell over all our days and nights.  Since we did not seek love and certainly did not show love, we became people without affect—easily irritated and easily offended.  That state drove us almost to despair and almost to death.

Now a new year beckons us to live life more fully, more joyfully and more lovingly.  And the one and only way to achieve this is by closer union with our Higher Power, God.  Doing this, perhaps in a new way of praying, will bring us not only closer to our God but more authentic with ourselves and others.  The true measure of prayer is:  Am I more joyful and more loving?

Let this new year, this new beginning launch us toward finding a surprise each day.  If we are living a more authentic life, we will find new happiness and joy in living today.

May The Lord Jesus grant you every good grace and blessing that you need in this new year 2014!

Br. Richard Hittle, S.J.