New Year! A Good Year?

There is nothing better than talking to God. Who does not suffer or is deprived of something that the most sophisticated of earthly satisfactions cannot make up for?

At the dawn of every first of January it is customary to exclaim: “It’s New Year! May it be a Good Year!” I am no Cato, but there are those who say this driven by cosas que no se hablan [things we do not talk about] . . . Then comes the hangover. And after some time, when the liver is complaining, people blame God, the Devil, and the world . . . Woe betide anyone who happens to be standing nearby . . . Meanwhile, nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every day. That is why we need the Everlasting Christmas of Jesus, the expansion of Fraternity, the Ecumenism that is moved by the pain of others and acts to put an end to it.

Will it be a Good Year? It all relies on us! It also depends on us understanding that if we are not aware of the fact that Spiritual Life is a reality, our material life may become a turmoil if we do not know how to really use our free will, mainly in a Democracy, which is the regime of responsibility.

Praying is loving and taking action

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Chico Xavier

Prayer is not the refuge of cowards or the idle. It elevates us, while work fulfills us. The Pope prays, the Dalai Lama meditates, Chico Xavier prayed, rabbis chant their supplications, evangelicals sing their praises to God, Muslims recite the Holy Koran . . . What is Prayer if not Love that is willing to undertake great feats? When an atheist brother carries out an act that benefits society, he is praying. In Crônicas e Entrevistas, I wrote that praying and meditating are similar to each other. Praying is not simply a figurative action. It is the strongest instrument that the human essence, the Divine Capital, has. As the German monk Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) wrote in The Imitation of Christ:Sublime is the art of talking to God.”

Avoiding the vomit of nations

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Thomas à Kempis

In these times of globalization, when many frontiers fall on the heads of the poorest populations, people are looking for a safe direction for their existence, which until now has been essentially governed by discrepant forces. The destination offered to them is not always the best. History repeats itself in the sum of deceptions that may result in an uncontrollable mass movement. Nations also vomit.

Therefore, they seek relief for their pain in violence or in the Invisible realm. But since several people have become accustomed to a restrictive view of the Spiritual Power, they often address their prayers to an anthropomorphic god, who does not reply to them because he does not exist. And that is when they get frustrated. 

Praying makes us strong

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Alziro Zarur

When I went to bed as dawn was breaking on a 1st of January long ago, the anniversary date of the LGW, I prayed to God in the filial hope of deserving His merciful attention. At that moment I remembered the great effort of Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) on behalf of the victory of Good Will, the common sense of Melanchthon (1497-1560), and the notable pontificate of Pope John XXIII (1881-1963). When I prayed to the Heavenly Father I felt His compassionate influence resonating in my Spirit. There is no arrogance whatsoever in this statement, because Jesus teaches us that “the Kingdom of God is within you.” (The Gospel of Jesus according to Luke 17:21).

The Prayer

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Oh God, Who is my refuge. Once more I raise my thoughts to You and find a response to my purposes.



Keep far from me the doomsayers of despondency, who proclaim a Final Judgment without remission, when You—in everything—are the Eternal Origin of the powerful permanence of life. From You I do not hear about the abyss, but of redemption.

I believe in Universal Love, which leads the human race, stubborn as it is in subsisting despite the many pitfalls that are placed in its path, to survival.

This is my Accomplishing Faith, which lives in Peace with all the others; my ecumenical ideal of Goodwill, which strives for the fraternization of all nations, because they are formed by Your creatures, oh Unique Creator of Heavens and Earth! You are the Supreme Fraternity, the shelter for hearts. . . . I found myself because I identified myself in Your Love. You are the ultimate help for my Soul.

I feel my being overflowing with joy. In Your Spirit I recognize myself as the brother of my brothers in Humanity. In this Eden, which is Your Sublime Love, I do not see myself as an outsider, beaten down by the tempests of despair. Finally, I found myself, oh God, because I found You.

. . . In Your Divine Bosom I found protection; under Your Love is my safe haven; in Your Embrace lies the rest for my Soul.

I give thanks to You, Magnanimous Father, for hearing me! 

You are all Love and, therefore, Charity, the Mother and Father of true Justice. 

In You lives and abounds the wisdom that so many long for, because the planet is in need of it: Your Majestic Light, which shines on us indiscriminately, even if we do not notice it.

Confident in Your Supernatural Criterion, I entrust my destiny to You, because my safety as Your son consists in Your Wisdom as my Father!

So be it!

Tela: Mathieu Ignace Van Brée (1773-1839)

Faith and democratic spirit

There is nothing better than talking to God. Who does not suffer or is deprived of something that the most sophisticated of earthly satisfactions cannot make up for? Let us seek in Faith the Hope for our physical, mental, and spiritual sustenance. Which Faith? Choose your own. A democratic spirit must also reign in the religious field.

May your New Year be a truly Good Year. However, that depends on us; all of us.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”