Beginning tonight with First Vespers, the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. Culturally we will begin the festivities for New Year's Eve. It is a certainly a great a joy for us Catholics to welcome a new year and to offer true devotion to our Blessed Mother as we seek her blessing upon us and turn the calendar. We are also within the Year of Faith instituted by the Church as both a preparation for and an immersion in the work of the new evangelization. As you may be aware, the work of the new evangelization is an effort by the Church to re-evangelize those peoples and countries in the West that at one time were Christian but are no longer so. It is also intended to bring back to the Faith those who were once Catholic but for any number of reasons have left us. This work has been asked of each and everyone of us who bear the name of Christ.
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.
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.