January 1

“Once again a year has passed, heavenly Father! We thank you that it was added to the time of grace and that we are not terrified by its also being added to the time of accounting, because we trust in your mercy. The new year faces us with its requirements, and even though we enter it downcast and troubled because we cannot and do not wish to hide from ourselves the thought of the lust of the eye that infatuated, the sweetness of revenge that seduced, the anger that made us unrelenting, the cold heart that fled far from you, we nevertheless do not go into the new year entirely empty-handed, since we shall indeed also take along with us recollections of the fearful doubts that were set at rest, of the lurking concerns that were soothed, of the downcast disposition that was raised up, of the cheerful hope that was not humiliated. Yes, when in mournful moments we want to strengthen and encourage our minds by contemplating those great men, your chosen instruments, who in severe spiritual trials and anxieties of heart kept their minds free, their courage uncrushed, and heaven open, we too, wish to add our witness to theirs in the assurance that even if our courage compared with theirs is only discouragement, our power powerlessnesss, you, however, are still the same, the same might God who tests spirits in conflict, the same Father without whose will not one sparrow falls to the ground. Amen.”

~Source: Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses: “The Expectancy of Faith, New Year’s Day” (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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