A guide to grow this year as human beings and as children of God
It is a custom to begin the year writing a list of resolutions. Let me suggest the following 12 — these may help you to become a better Catholic.
- Get closer to God. Successfully fulfilling all your resolutions depends strongly on this one. Without Christ, you can do nothing.
- Trust God. Many feel frustrated because God does not talk to them. Open your dusty Bible. Read it every day and you’ll hear the voice of God. Ask him that his will be done. He knows better. When opportunities arise before you, take them without questioning. God will help you, but he needs your trust.
- Refrain from gossiping. Our tongue can run wildly against others — because this person spends too much, because that one is too messy, because this other one is a gossiper (?!), because that other one goes to Mass but argues with everyone else … What about looking at yourself instead, every time you feel someone else is wrong, and noticing what it is about yourself that you need to change?
- Become a change-maker. Criticizing what you don’t like is rarely useful. Make the resolution of thinking how to help to correct something you think is wrong. If you’re unable to correct it, then it is better to stay away and not become a hurdle.
- Stop being offended about everything. So many people get offended because of the way someone looks at them, because the waiter missed them when he passed by, because the driver ahead is going too slowly, because their daughter doesn’t put her brush back in the cabinet … And they become aggressive, scream, get back at people and make their own life miserable while making it miserable for everyone else at the same time! This is not a Christian attitude. Make the resolution of avoiding quarrels. You’ll live a peaceful life!
- Grow the virtue of tidiness. Messiness is a terrible vice. Don’t confuse vanity with tidiness. Going out without brushing your hair or ironing your clothes is not fitting for a child of God. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and must always look worthy.
- Work hard. Work to make this a better world. Work in order to grow as a human being, to develop your talents and to increase your dignity. A mediocre job from a child of God is unacceptable. Work with passion, always keeping in mind the day when God entrusted the care of the Garden of Eden to Adam.
- Be clean of heart. Jesus promised such people will see God. Explicit TV shows, conversations charged with harsh words, and vulgar jokes stop us from keeping our hearts clean. Commit to having fun in a pure and healthy way, to keeping conversations respectful and to a sense of humor that doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable.
- Spend more time with your family. You put tons of time into work to make enough money to pay for after-school care, all sorts of evening lessons for your children, and who knows what else. All of that is just to keep them busy and attended to by someone else so you can work more to make more money to pay more sitters and tutors while you work. It's a tornado that devastates families. Enough is enough! Stop now! God–family–work. Those are the right priorities. Everything else, God will provide.
- Enjoy your life, which is a gift from God. Enough nagging about everything! Accept everything God gives you and praise him for his bounty. Praise him for every morning, for every warm shower, for every tasty breakfast, for the sunbeams that warm your body and your soul, for each cup of coffee that helps you to keep going, and for the friend who chats with you while you drink it. Joy in your life will be plenty.
- Lose weight. The most broken resolution. Realize that excess weight can be due to the capital sin of gluttony. Who eats in excess usually sins of laziness as well and does not work out. Eating in excess often comes with drinking in excess. Both body and spirit get hurt. This new year, declare war on your gluttony. Improve your body’s health — the body God has given you.
- Become a bearer of God’s blessing. Whoever is in need of God rarely expects a miracle. He needs love, someone who will listen, someone who can help, someone who can offer him a job, someone who can share a loaf of bread. Make the resolution of becoming a bearer of God’s blessing to others — by sharing your time, by helping out, by sharing your lips and your ears and your treasure.
May the Lord protect you and help you to fulfill all your resolutions.
Be passionate about our faith!
Read the Spanish version of this story.
Northwest Catholic - January/February 2017