Make your New Year’s Resolutions count this year by committing to growing in faith and holiness. Here are some suggestions:
1) Make a resolution to go to mass weekly! Did you know that each Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation? If you aren’t going to mass every week, this is the time to start! If you are already a frequent-mass-goer, try attending daily mass one day each week. It’s a good way to put a little more Eucharist in your life.
2) Make a resolution to go to confession monthly. Making the habit to go at the end of every month can rid you of complacency, fear or that “oh I’ll go later” attitude. I like this article that draws from some of the coolest saints and Church documents to explain ‘Why Confession?‘ Fr. Greg is usually around his office at Newman for confessions Tuesday-Friday from 2:30(ish) until 4:00pm mass to hear confessions.
3) Make a resolution to carve a prayer time into your life. Choose a time daily that makes sense for you and stick with it. Not sure what to do in that time? Try P.R.A.Y. – Praise (thank God for the blessings in your life), Repent (make a small Examination of Conscience), Ask (What do you seek from God?), Yield (Spend some time in quiet, or perhaps read Scripture – what is God trying to tell you). Want to learn more about prayer – Talk to Fr. Greg or Terrel Joseph.
4) Make a resolution to read through the Gospel of Luke and Acts this year, a chapter a week! A chapter really isn’t all that much when you think about it, and reading slowly will allow you more time to reflect. There are 49 chapters if you put the two together, so that will be almost perfect for 52 weeks of the year. If you don’t have a Bible, go talk to Nathan Gibbard (our director) and he’ll set you up with one!
5) Make a resolution to pray for others. Find small ways to offer prayer and sacrifice for those around you. Simple ways to start include thinking a person who really needs your prayers each time to attend mass or every time you sit down for an exam, offer it for a friend.
6) Make a resolution to evangelize. It doesn’t have to be scary! Evangelization simply means proclaiming the Good News of Jesus wherever you are. Not sure where to start – Pray! God is really good at opening up opportunities for you speak simply and clearly about the faith. It can be as simple as inviting a friend to Church with you, or to an activity at Newman, or being available and loving when listening to others when they voice questions or concerns about their faith. A good place to get started here is to take a Discovery Faith Study, in which you can learn more about being a missionary wherever you are!
7) Make a resolution to serve. Find a way to serve others this year. Service takes a variety of forms. You can serve your fellow students by cooking at Saturday Night Supper for them. You can serve the Church by volunteering to be a lector or acolyte, or sing in the choir. You can serve the poor through Social Justice and volunteer activities (talk to Katie, our VP Social Justice). You can serve the lonely at a nursing home (see Fr. Greg about opportunities at St. Margaret’s). The list goes on and on and on…
8) Make a resolution to sleep well, exercise often and eat healthy. Bet you didn’t expect this one on a Catholic list, but God desires you to take care of the beautiful body and mind He made you! Resolutions #1-7 will be easier and more fruitful if you are well-rested and at your best! (PS – Regarding vegetables, can I suggest Soup and Bagels for lunch?)
Try focusing on one or two of these resolutions at once. You’ll be surprised how normal each of these resolutions can become when they are part of your life, just as much as brushing your teeth or walking to school. And don’t worry, trying to fulfill all these resolutions may be overwhelming, but know that you have friends rooting for you to become a saint!