Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Be It Resolved...

It's more than appropriate that we wrap up the "old" year and start the new during the Christmas season. After all, Jesus came to make all things new, so we might as well make our contribution, too. But New Year's Resolutions can be so...intimidating! I tend to want to fix everything in me and around me. At the same time. That leads to lists that go for pages.
Do you ever have the same problem?
Our Founder offered good advice for the resolutions a person would make at the beginning of the new "spiritual year" (during a course of spiritual exercises). Such resolutions, he said, should be "few, specific and practical." He outlined five areas that ought to be addressed in our consecrated life, and these can pretty much be adapted for any Catholic life.

Five recommended areas of focus would be:
  • Family
  • Spirituality
  • Intellectual life
  • Work/Finances
  • Health
Just one resolution for each point. That also ensures that you won't be running away with resolutions you have very little chance of keeping.
To remember the resolutions, you could think of the five areas as the fingers of a hand, with the thumb (the "master finger") representing the area of your life that has the most impact on all the others, and thus requires the most focus. (So if your workload is affecting your family life, prayer and health, that is where you need to focus, even though objectively your family is more important.)
Are you making New Year's Resolutions this year? Are they "new" or "renewed" resolutions? How do you plan to keep them in mind, evaluate them, and make them really bear fruit?


Rae said...

A good post, Sr. Anne! I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, but this is simple and motivating. I am going to adapt your adaptation for my own resolutions. I've recently been following a "health chart" for myself, recording daily things I do for my bodily health (nutrition, water intake, etc.) I think I'll add 5 tiny columns to check off, one for each resolution.

Anonymous said...


Ursula Pfannenberg said...

Dear Sister Anne,
I saw a photo which you must have made from Saint Nicolas/interior. it would be perfect for me to use because I would love to show children and adults the real dress St Nicolas was wearing and explain Christmas origin. I live in Sydney Australia and want to teach more whz we are celebrating Christmas, because it it getting more and more commercial.
Please let me know.My email address is
God bless Ursula Pfannenberg

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

Thanks for writing, Ursula! I'm not sure which image you were referring to… However, there have been a few books that offer some help connecting the real St Nicholas to today's Christmas celebrations. My community is also releasing a new video for small children that can help. Please see www.pauline.org
You might also find some used books on Amazon that would help. I don't have any other resources to offer, I'm afraid.
Thanks for inquiring, though!
I think it would be best for you to remove your comment now that I have answered it, since it has your email address in it for all the world to see; if you are unable to, just comment again here with 'delete previous comment' and I will remove it.