Speaking Out: Plenty of time for resolutions

By  Janelle Lafantaisie, Youth Speak News
  • December 29, 2019

January 1 is right around the corner — to some, that means New Year’s Day. A time for clean slates, a fresh start and all the goal-setting. To the Catholic man or woman, it’s all that and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

New Year’s Day can truly bring serious stress on some when it comes to goal-setting and resolving a new year with a new life. Whether those resolutions look like healthier habits, a better work ethic, performance-based goals like running a marathon, the list goes on.

One of the coolest parts about being Catholic is that we’re always called to greater and better things. This is a year-long, life-long call, so there’s no real need to stress about this one particular time of the year. If you’re the type of person who finds yourself needing structure and guidance, the Church has your back!

I’ve noticed at least two times throughout our liturgical year that are ideal for goal-setting. The first is the first Sunday of Advent. This is the true New Year of the Church’s calendar and sets us up for a time of waiting and making ourselves worthy for the coming of Christ. The second is Easter. With the coming of spring, we can find ourselves in a good mindset to look at our goals and and treat Easter as a “midway New Year.”

Here are some ideas if you’re looking to enhance your faith life in 2020:

  1. 1. Starting Your Day with a Morning Offering: Instead of rolling over and snoozing your alarm, offer up the Morning Offering, a traditional prayer that’s been used for generations!

“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.”

  1. 2. Go to Mass an Extra Day: Of course, daily Mass would be ideal, but if you can, why not try adding one more Mass to your weekly schedule. If there’s a Catholic college or faculty on your university campus, you can usually find a daily Mass around lunch time.
  2. 3. Start Reading Spiritual Works: So many of the saints, Popes and Doctors of the Church have written amazing works. Some really awesome laypeople have also written great books to help you deepen and enrich your faith. See what interests you at your local Catholic bookstore and see if you can spend less time scrolling and more time growing in holiness!
  3. 4. Start Fasting: It is recommended that Catholics commit to fasting on Fridays and sometimes that get forgotten about in our fast-paced lives. See what’s attainable for you and bring fasting on Friday back into your life. Even just fasting from meat or maybe a little less screen time can make a huge difference in your spiritual and mental clarity.
  4. 5. Find a Saint Friend: Use 2020 to find a new saint who can pray with you all year long! If you’re not sure who to choose, Jennifer Fulwiler, an American author and radio host, created the Saint’s Name Generator so that you can find your new spiritual friend! Simply go to www.saintsnamegenerator.com, say a quick prayer and find your new prayer buddy!

There are a lot of ways that we can improve and work on our path to holiness throughout the year ahead. As mentioned, resolutions are not just for January.

 This list contains only a few ideas, but I hope they get you inspired as the year comes to a close. Cheers to a new decade!

(Lafantaisie, 24, is owner and photographer for Alice and Flore Photography in Winnipeg, Man.)

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