Questions of Faith
The phrase goes: “New year, new me.” The mentality of recognising your weaknesses and setting new goals aimed at improvement is ubiquitous across the western world.
Some people decide to hit the gym, others try to jump on the diet train and many of us will attempt to stave off alcohol. On the surface, this cultural phenomenon might seem tacky, but in reality there’s something noble about acknowledging your flaws and taking the right steps to better yourself.
One aspect of our lives that is often neglected is our spiritual development. The busyness of life can sometimes get in the way of our responsibility to keep God at the centre of what we say and do. In this vein, it might be worth trying to develop healthy practices aimed at helping your spiritual life as part of your new year’s resolutions. Below is a list of suggestions to get you thinking:
Read the Bible. Let’s be honest, Catholics have a reputation for not being as biblically literate as other Christian denominations. You don’t have to do it in one sitting (that would take much too long) but by trying reading a chapter every day. Listening to an audio book is also a great alternative and it means you can hear the Word of God anywhere, anytime.
The busyness of life can sometimes get in the way of our responsibility to keep God at the centre of what we say and do”
Join a parish group. Church community is essential to the flourishing of a healthy, Christian life. If you’re not involved in a local parish group, consider joining one. Jesus reminds us that when one or two gather in his name, he is present (Mt 18:20). Your Faith will develop significantly when you join with others in prayer and fellowship.
Instead of exuding negativity, try to be more grateful for the things that you do have”
Pray more. For many Catholics, their prayer life can be summed up as a few mumbled words before they drift off to sleep. Try to get into the habit of praying when you wake up and before you go to bed. It doesn’t have to be a long session, but make sure it’s thoughtful and focused.
You can also pray during the day, perhaps on your work commute or while making dinner. It can simply be a conversation with God about whatever is on your mind.
Be thankful. The world can seem like a horrid place sometimes, and this prompts us to complain and moan. Instead of exuding negativity, try to be more grateful for the things that you do have.
You’ll be surprised by how lucky you feel when you can recite a long list with ease.
Give more. Christmas is traditionally the time for giving, but just because the festive season is over does not mean we should stop considering those in need. Make a concerted effort this year to volunteer or donate what you can financially.