"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Resolutions

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Regarding New Year’s resolutions, if you’re anything like me, you either (A) didn’t have time enough to reflect on life and come up with any, or (B) did have time and came up with some, but have already given up on them, because they were just too big and you already feel you “failed.” This was an (A) year for me. I’ve had (B) years, too.

The thing is, January 1 is not the only day of the year we can make resolutions. For a resolution is merely a firm decision to do or not to do something. In fact, St. Francis de Sales, among other great spiritual writers in our tradition, encourages us to make resolutions daily, at the end of our time of prayer and meditation. Our reflections on Scripture and the mysteries of our faith should lead to “special and particular resolutions for [our] own correction and improvement.” We should conclude our time of prayer asking, “Lord, what do you want of me today? What can I do or not do to grow in holiness today? How can I love more today? What can I sacrifice for others today? How can I say yes to You today?"

And, St. Francis continues, “After you rise from meditation you must remember the resolutions and decisions you have made and carefully put them into effect on that very day.” I find a concrete daily resolution much more helpful in my daily pursuit of holiness because, really, our lives are about conversion. And conversion isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence; it is a process. Because “Christian perfection has but one limit, that of having none” (St. Gregory of Nyssa).

2 comments:

  1. I start anew every day. Not just on Jan. 1st. Didn't even think about it this year. Trying to be the best I can be every day!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the reminder about St. Francis de Sales' advice regarding daily resolutions.

    In the "Our lives are about conversion" vein...as a priest-friend of ours likes to say:

    If you're not a convert, then you're not a Catholic.

    ReplyDelete

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