New Years Resolutions Suggested by a Catholic Bishop

I just read these on Let Us Walk Together, the blog of Bishop Christopher Coyne, Auxilary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.  Too good not to share.  Imagine a world where every Catholic adopted these as their New Year’s Resolutions.

As the new year begins, we often make resolutions and so, I offer the following possible new year’s resolutions to consider if one is going to be serious about being an evangelizer. I offer them for myself as well as for those readers who chose to follow my advice. Many of these resolutions are already part of my life: confession, pray, etc.. My hope is that anyone of us who is serious about following Christ as a Catholic Christian and an evangelizer will be able to see oneself in some of these propositions.

And so, As a Catholic Christian committed to the Church and the work of the new evangelization, I resolve with the love of Christ in my heart and the guidance of the Holy Spirit: –

    • to strive to grow in my love for the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church everyday. 
    • to be someone who seeks opportunities to invite others to faith in Jesus Christ and then seizes those opportunities when they come.
    • to try and talk about Jesus Christ and my faith to someone at least once a day.
    • to strive to live as someone who seeks to love God with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and to love my neighbor as I would seek to be loved.
    • everyday to wake up in the morning, put my feet on the floor, and before I stand up, bow my head in praise to God for all that he has done for me.
    • everyday as I prepare for bed, to sit or kneel at my bedside and thank God for the blessings of the day and seek His forgiveness for any of my human transgressions.
    • to attend Sunday Mass every week, arriving at least 15 minutes before Mass starts so I can properly prepare myself to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
    • every time I eat, regardless of where I am, to give thanks to God for the food I am about to receive.
    • to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation at least once a month or more as needed.
    • to meditate on the daily Mass readings. 
    • to pray the Rosary once a day.
    • to be someone who seeks to judge less and understand more.
    • to remember that,”It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.” (Blessed Mother Teresa)
    • to balance the way I talk about the Church. If I have to complain about something I do not agree with or like about the Church, I will remember to say something about what I love about the Church, especially around others who may not believe as I do.
    • to chose one night per week in which I will not watch TV, use my computer, play on my phone, laptop, or tablet, text, tweet, or FB or anything like that. Instead, I will become involved: involved with my church, a charity, a neighbor, whatever the opportunity and the desire leads me.
    • to “tithe” some part of myself (time, treasure, and talent) to furthering God’s kingdom in this world.
    • to meditate seriously on the Corporal Works of Mercy and the Spiritual Works of Mercy and to strive to live them.
    • to be meek but not “milquetoast.”
    • to comfort those who mourn.
    • to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
    • to be pure of heart in thought, word, and deed.
    • to be merciful.
    • to be a peacemaker but to also be courageous.
    • to be righteous before God and others.
    • I resolve to be a child of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

A long list, and a tall order.  I don’t think any of us can take this list, swallow it in one big gulp, and suddenly fulfill every resolution, or even any one of these resolutions.  I resolve (me, Stephanie Engelman, of great Self-Discipline in 2013) to take a look at each of these points in the year to come.  To try to do them and report back to you, my readers and (if you don’t mind) my accountability partners.  Please chime in if you want to join me!

Another resolution that I just read on Shoved to Them is

“Pray more with my friends.  I’ve done 2 novenas in the last few months over the phone with friends.  It’s been an amazing experience.  I need to pray with them more often.  It just makes me happy.”

Doing a novena over the phone with a friend… the thought had never occurred to me.  I love it.  I’m gonna try that one too.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

3 comments on “New Years Resolutions Suggested by a Catholic Bishop
  1. Dana Lashley says:

    If you need a friend to pray with, I’m your girl! I’d also like to take a stab at Bishop Coyne’s list, although the entire thing is a bit intimidating. One day at a time. 🙂 I already pray a rosary every day, so I’ve got a good start.

  2. Beverly Jaeger says:

    Thanks Stephanie. I used to do most of these, or at least tried for a decade of my life. In the past year, I have lost my motivation for holiness. I cannot get it back due to my hectic busy life and also struggling with the decisions I currently have to make. Its chaotic! You and Dana are an inspiration to me. So glad to know you both…

    • stephanie says:

      Bev, you are very much in my thoughts and prayers. We are all called to holiness, but it’s not an easy process. One step at a time, one quiet moment at a time, we can ask for God’s help in becoming the saints that He calls us to be. Most times it is two steps forward, one step backward. Sometimes, one step forward, two steps backward. We have a powerful enemy, who sees our busy-ness as a splendid opportunity to weedle his way in. Fortunately, our friend and savior is much more powerful! Lean on Him!

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