Archives for January 2014
I first wrote the following reflection for my parish bulletin.
|2014 version of me|
Every year I make New Year resolutions. I believe that it’s good to improve myself for the honor and glory of God. I know I need God’s grace to improve. When God is gracious enough to bless me with a particular grace, I should cooperate with Him. That’s where personal effort comes in.
So many get discouraged if or when they break their resolutions that they give up. I understand the feeling. One of my Facebook friends has a good suggestion for that problem of perseverance. This is a slightly edited version of what Elizabeth wrote:
Lots of us set goals – resolutions – for each New Year. Many of us do not achieve those goals over the course of that 365 days. We lose sight of the goal or we “cheat,” and decide there is no point in continuing. But what if you made that your goal for just January? And then, make it a new goal for February, and so on through the year? Do you think you would be more successful?
My answer is yes. I think I would be more successful if I re-resolved to continue with my commitments.
I could have made a lengthy list of resolutions, because I have many weaknesses that need to be eliminated. Nevertheless, I chose just two commitments. One is to grow closer to Christ by focusing on the virtue of humility as an antidote to vainglory. This resolution was inspired, in part, by Connie Rossini’s post, “What Is Your Spiritual Focus for 2014?” It is also a response to my growing awareness of an element of arrogance in my attitude towards others. I wish that weren’t true, but it is. For the longest time I was unaware of it. Thankfully, I now am, by the grace of God.
A second resolution was inspired by my nephew, Kevin, who, years ago, determined to become an avid reader by reading 12 books in a year. It’s something he renews each year. I thought of copying him, but I don’t really want to be an avid reader. I do want to be a discerning reader. By that I mean I want to read worthwhile books or articles. I tend to read non-fiction works and I think reading some good literature will be a good balance. Some of the most worthwhile literature I’ve ever read are the works of William Shakespeare. So my goal is to read Shakespeare’s plays this year. I don’t think I can read all of them in a year, so I’ll shoot for twelve.
So, my two resolutions for 2014 are 1) to pray for the virtue of humility by cooperating with God’s grace, and 2) to become a discerning reader by reading twelve of Shakespeare’s plays.
I came across two articles about New Year resolutions today that have some very good ideas. I share them with you for your own inspiration, especially if you are having a hard time thinking of a good one.
First, “New Year’s Resolutions: The Pope Francis List” here. This is not actually resolutions the pope made. It is a list compiled by Paterno Esmaquel II who used Pope Francis’ speeches and homilies as a source.
Second, Fr. James Martin, S.J., wrote “Turn the Other Tweet: Social Media Resolutions for 2014.” Read it here. I enjoyed reading it even if I didn’t use them as a source for my resolutions. When I’m annoyed with social media, which happens often, I can reread it.