Okay, yes, I know: It’s already the middle of January. Liturgically speaking, the new year started a month and a half ago with Advent. Isn’t it a little late to be talking about things like New Year’s resolutions?
Trick question! It’s never too late to take a moment to examine our lives, evaluate our desires and discern where God is leading us. Each day offers new opportunities to take the next best step forward, both in our lives overall and in our walk with the Lord.
As you undertake your other goals for the year — maybe getting in shape, becoming more organized or giving up a bad habit — we challenge you to identify your spiritual goals, too. Here’s your chance to look inward, build your faith, strengthen relationships and tackle familiar challenges. Take on some of these 18 simple resolutions for 2018, inspired by the saints:
1. Rediscover the heart of prayer.
“You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually, on certain occasions, you should speak with only your heart.” — St. Padre Pio
2. Learn something new about the faith each week.
“If you learn everything except Christ, you learn nothing. If you learn nothing except Christ, you learn everything.” — St. Bonaventure
3. Get to know your parish priest better.
“The priest is not a priest for himself; he is a priest for you.” — St. John Vianney
4. Read and ruminate on Scripture.
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” — St. Jerome
5. Give whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.” — St. Gregory Nazianzen
6. Explore God’s creation.
“Some people, to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink.” — St. Augustine
7. Dedicate each small task to the Lord.
“I can’t do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God.” —St. Dominic Savio
8. Pray more to the Holy Spirit.
“He pours light into our minds, arouses our desire and gives us strength…As the soul is the life of the body, so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls.” — St. Peter Damian
9. Offer it up.
“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you, and certainly wants to make you a saint.” — St. Ignatius of Loyola
10. Spend more time sharing faith with your friends.
“True friendship consists in mutually perfecting one another and drawing closer to God.” — St. Teresita of the Andes
11. Build your trust in the Lord.
“Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul except sin. God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.” — St. Francis de Sales
12. Volunteer for a ministry in need at your parish.
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received, and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” — St. Teresa of Calcutta
13. Behold the beauty of the Eucharist whenever you can.
“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.” — Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
Renew your devotion to the Blessed Mother.
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Mother too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” — St. Maximilian Kolbe
15. Nurture your creative side.
“Through his artistic creativity man appears more than ever in the image of God.” — Pope St. John Paul II
16. Take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation more often.
“Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.” — St. Isidore of Seville
17. Embrace humility.
“What will be the crown of those who, humble within and humiliated without, have imitated the humility of our Savior in all its fullness!” — St. Bernadette
18. Live with joy.
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.” — St. Gianna Beretta Molla