Treasures of the Faith, Part 9: Nunc Coepi: Beginning the New Year & Each Day With the Saints

Nunc coepi is a Latin maxim used by the Saints of the Church for centuries. Taken from the 76th Psalm, verse 11 (of the Clementine Vulgate and traditional Catholic numbering system), it means, “Now, I have begun.”

Following Christ and his teaching, many Saints have used this as their daily meditation and prayer. Have you fallen into sin again? Do not despair! Get to Confession and exclaim with St. Therese, “Nunc coepi: Now I have begun!”

I am certain that even if I had on my conscience every imaginable crime, I should lose nothing of my confidence; rather I would hurry, with a heart broken with sorrow, to throw myself into the Arms of my Jesus.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul

Have you done well? Then “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”(Mt 6:3) “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”(Lk 17:10) Then, with St. Francis, say, “Nunc coepi: Now I have begun!”

During this new year, I resolve to begin a new life. I do not know what will happen to me during this year, but I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.”

St. Gemma Galgani

Each Year and indeed each day that the merciful God gives us to try again to be faithful and to grow in charity is a great gift, a new beginning. The future is not real; it does not exist; we can not control it today, but it can control us if we worry about it now. It is in the hands of God; leave it there. Yesterday is gone; it is not real, except in the conceptual form of memory if held in our present mind. Let us worry not about that either, making ourselves prisoners of our past sins and mistakes. Let us rather embrace Reality Himself, Who is here in the freedom of the present moment with us, offering us the chance to be the masterpieces He has created us to be. “Ergo dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum” [“Therefore, while we have time, let us do good.”](Gal 6:10)

Article and Photo by Stephen Snyder, 2021. All Rights Reserved.