These three areas can define your new year, and the rest of your life.
In 2022, resolve to allow the gospel to permeate your heart through community, faith, and scholarship.
In 2021, Benedictine College, where I work, launched a plan to “change culture in America through our mission of community, faith, and scholarship.”
This is a difficult task, but the plan is modeled after the document of Saint John Paul II church in america, Dedicating the Americas to Our Lady of Guadalupe he said, “Through her powerful intercession, the gospel will penetrate the hearts of men and women of America and permeate their cultures, transforming them from within.”
This only happens to one person at a time – and one decision at a time. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions.
Determine to build community in 2022 – in your family, in your parish, in your neighborhood.
One of the worst things about the pandemic and our political polarization is that it attacks our ability to build society. Social isolation was bad before. Now it is worse.
Building personal relationships is the way to respond. One of the problems we have is that entertainment has “textual” relationships with family and friends to look like in certain ways: Beautiful people are relentlessly combined with other beautiful people. They have clean and tidy problems and give accurate and tidy answers.
Friendship in the real world is much more awkward and messy. We help each other with our sharp edges as much as we help them with our poise and brilliance. So don’t let perfect Hallmark movies be the enemy of good real-life relationships:
Resolve to sacrifice computer or smartphone time once a week and call a family member instead—especially, but not limited to, family members who encourage rather than discourage your faith.
- If possible, skip the call and arrange a visit with them. Before you loved your family like Bishop Robert Barron
DescribeThey have to meet Uncle Tommy.
- Resolve to find a parish opportunity for face-to-face networking: a well-read moms group, That Man Is You session, Great Adventure Bible study, or whatever your parish has to offer. Then make friends with those who share your journey.
- Resolve to hand out Christmas cards to your neighbors in person and then follow up in the new year with Valentine’s Day cards in February and Easter cards in April. Commitment to difficult people is being The new evangelism.
Resolve to build your faith life in 2022.
You need hope in 2022. Hope makes difficult times bearable, and love is the counterfeit that makes your life work right. But you cannot have hope or love without faith.
The only way to gain faith is to talk to Jesus. You cannot recognize a human being who you refuse to talk to, and you cannot know the second person of the Trinity if you do not talk to him. There are a variety of aids in the art of prayer, but in the end it all depends on the decision to continue trying. Some ideas:
- Decide on a short morning prayer prayer, daily meditation, and/or evening prayer from Magnificat In Aleteia (in the links provided or under the heading “Prayer” above).
- Resolve to meditate daily, first thing, before anything else, or whatever best time you can keep holy. Click here for ABCS meditative prayer aid.
- We resolve to pray the daily Rosary; Lots of help is available to make it easier (I’m here).
- Resolve to visit the Eucharist once or more per week (find a minute-by-minute guide here).
We are determined to enhance your intellectual life in 2022.
The last area is scholarships. needs your faith fellowship to live and Prayer To continue, you need Scholarship to thrive. Revivals of faith always dissipate unless they are rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Fortunately, we live in a time when it is easier than ever to have a high-quality intellectual belief formation.
- Resolve to read the Aleteia email newsletter every day to fuel your faith with news and encouragement
- Resolve to subscribe and use anything that fuels your faith: videos of Bishop Robert Barron, Father Michael Schmidt or materials from the Augustine Institute, Catholic Answers, EWTN, etc.
- We resolve to read some of the great books available to faith: Brant Peter’s books (especially Jesus caseand Jennifer Fullelersomething other than God) and Scott Hahn.
Finally, on January 1, he put all these decisions into the hands of the Blessed Mother.
We start the year with her for a reason: She’s the expert in building community, nurturing faith, and growing in wisdom. As Saint John Paul II said, Our Lady of Guadalupe will change the culture in America.