January 5, 2017
A Simple Spiritual Resolution for the New Year
A blessed New Year!
One of the many gifts the Lord lavishes upon us, so obvious at the start of a fresh calendar, is the chance to begin all over again.
“Regrets? We’ve had a few, although, again, too few to mention,” as we reflect upon 2016. Regrets become resolutions, as we begin again.
“Come back to me with all your heart!” is an invitation from our Father in the consoling pages of the Holy Bible.
From a natural point of view, we’re bolstered by New Year’s promises: to watch our diet, exercise more, spend more time reading, better communications with family and friends, save some money. Well and good! If you’re like me, those resolutions are the same ones we made last year!
We do not want to skimp on the supernatural side, though, do we?
How grateful we are that we have a God of second chances, who is never quite finished with us. He has told us it makes Him happy when we take a deep breath and whisper to Him, “Lord, I’d like to come closer to you!”
Even our ability to utter that is a gift from Him, a result of His grace. Let His mercy take care of our regrets, He consoles us, and concentrate now on a fresh start.
A tidy place to start is by simply admitting that, without Him, nothing is possible; with Him, nothing is impossible.
The baby whose birth we still celebrate came to save us from broken promises, failed past resolutions, former episodes of failure and darkness.
A friend the other day commented, “You can tell it’s staying light a bit longer each day.”
Yes, it is. It’s always dawn with the Lord. The best is ahead.
So, we humbly place some spiritual resolutions into the Lord’s hands: a few moments of prayer daily; fidelity to Sunday Mass; attention to a habit of sin; a return to the sacrament of penance; opening the Bible; an outreach to a friend; an act of tenderness to one broken or in need.
We’re at the “starting line” this first week of 2017. A simple spiritual resolution? Start each day with a prayer (remember the morning offering?); start each week with Mass.
Jesus told us, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” and all else will come.
His first Commandment is that He alone is the Lord our God, and that false gods have no place in our lives.
He is always there for us; He always opens the door when we knock; His line is never busy; He always answers with a live voice; He didn’t send an email but came in person; He is Emmanuel, “God with us.”
Our spiritual resolutions make Him smile with gladness, not scoff with sarcasm. He knows we can do it, ’cause He’ll do it in, through, and in spite of us! He knows we got it in us, since He knows us better than anybody...after all, He made us!
And He especially realizes that we are not happy without Him. Our mistakes come when we try to find replacements for Him. They never pan out.
“Oh God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting.”
A blessed, holy New Year!