Resolutions for the New Year

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Once I heard a preacher saying that to hold resolutions for the New Year is certainly not an act of God. Instead he shockingly likened it to a devilish act. Honestly, with all of his good intentions, I tend to disagree with him. Having a goal in life is so important. At least one knows what one is hoping for in his or her life. So let us have our feet on the ground and peacefully discern …

Even the saints held this point of view. Saint Gemma Galgani, in her little notebook on New Years Eve of 1895-1896, scribbled: “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. And my aspirations and all my affections will be for You. I feel so weak, dear Jesus, but with Your help I hope and resolve to live a different life, that is, a life closer to You”.

Way back I read an article on a blog which speaks about Five New Year Resolutions that saints would do. Since I liked what I read I want tohumbly propose these five suggestions to you as well today.

First, in this New Year let us be more merciful in almsgiving. Here I want to resort to what Saint Basil the Great says: “The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor”. Whereas Saint Clement of Alexandria reminds us that “sins are purged by alms and acts of faith”. Obviously, when speaking of almsgiving I am also intending giving time for people in need. Like, for instance, listening to a person who is hurting. In this busy world we are living in giving time to those in need is giving alms in a much more refined way.

The second resolution for this New Year can be that of reading more books or relevant articles that nourish our spirit. Yes, my friends, reading is so profitable for our souls. Saint Pio of Pietrelcina used to say: “Don’t consider me too demanding if I ask you once again to set great store by holy books and read them as much as you can. This spiritual reading is as necessary to you as the air you breathe.” Whilst Saint Josemaria Escriva said: “Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. – Reading has made many saints.”

The third resolution which this article suggests is focusing on heaven. Here Saint Thérèse of Lisieux would be of great help for you and me. She wrote: “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labours”. And Saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars, said: “O my dear parishioners, let us endeavour to get to heaven! There we shall see God. How happy we shall feel! If the parish is converted we shall go there in procession with the parish priest at the head. . . We must get to heaven! What a pity it would be if some of you were to find yourselves on the other side!”

The fourth resolution for the year 2018 is eating healthy food. Even here I was joyfully surprised how the Christian Catholic spirituality has alot to say to us. I cite what Saint Ignatius of Loyola says about this: “It is not the soul alone that should be healthy; if the mind is healthy in a healthy body, all will be healthy and much better prepared to give God greater service”. A nice advice for busy people in the Church!

Finally, the last resolution on which we can work on in 2018 is that of investing in friendship. Dorothy Days says: “We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community”. And the great Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, said: “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship”. Why? Because when we invite God into our relationship, our friendships can bring us to theinner life of the Trinity, the perfect and most intimate communion that exists and can ever exist!

Lord, help me keep these resolutions. Amen.

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