We find ourselves making New Year’s Resolutions at this time of year. We make promises to ourselves that we will exercise more, eat healthier, be more positive, and gossip less. We need to make room for our spiritual growth also.
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. When we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit helps us to be more like Him, conforming us to His image. Here are some ideas to get you started on your journey:
Go to Church
Make it a point to attend a church service throughout the week. This allows us to be in His presence, to reflect on our lives and our commitment to our faith. We can raise our worries to heaven. We can ask for forgiveness. We can be inspired. And let’s remember that we come not only to receive, but to give – so let’s offer our thanks and be grateful for our blessings.
“The True Church can never fail. For it is based upon a rock.”
– T.S. Eliot
“Let Go and Let God” is a popular phrase, with good reason. The expression reminds us of an absolute must: to allow ourselves to surrender to Christ. He knows all. He knows what is best. We just have to have faith in His will. Instead of pushing our own agendas, we yield control and trust more. When we worry less, we have more time to fulfill His will and His plan.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6
Conversation is a cornerstone of relationships. It’s how we get to know one another. Prayer is a conversation with Jesus. We can talk with Him as we do our very best friends. And remember that conversation is not a monologue; listen to hear what Christ has to say in return. Reciting memorized prayers is another way to gain closeness to Christ. Prayer establishes a relationship, a bond, and a trust that is His gift to us.
“Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trail as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”
– St.Therese of Lisieux
Read scripture daily. We can read directly from the bible, or we can use a devotional that includes a scripture passage, a short reflection, and ideas for applying these messages to everyday life. When we read His word, we discover more about ourselves.
Whatever website, devotional, or bible we choose, our daily commitment to it will help us gain a stronger relationship with our Lord.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down, and when you are getting up.”
– Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Be Kinder/Be Happier
Make it a point to live life the way God intended. God desires all good for us. React to others in that way. Remember we are human and permit others to make mistakes. Allow for time to pass before responding in a “knee jerk reaction.” Offer forgiveness and mercy. At some point in our lives, we will need that same response from others. Offer it first whenever possible. Life is fuller when we are less angry, less stressed, and when we allow kindness to lead our way.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
– Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Our wish is that 2017 be the best year yet. We encourage you to give these suggestions a try. If we think about the amount of time we have here on earth, these are very small sacrifices in the big picture. It’s a New Year – embrace it!
St. Francis de Sales Parish Catholic Church
40 Granville St.
Newark, Ohio 43055