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Many years ago, I stopped creating New Year's resolutions, not because I didn't believe in their value, but because I never succeeded at keeping them. This year was no different, except that I paused longer than usual as I mentally reviewed a list of possibilities. Maybe it was the start of a new decade that caught my attention. Maybe a growing belief that our country is more divided than ever. Maybe a painful awareness that the peoples in our world need healing more than ever. Maybe even a realization that I am closer to my death than to my birth. Whatever the reason, I actually entertained returning to the practice of making a resolution for 2020.
A resolution is serious business. It's a promise, a commitment that is rooted in a belief that I can change for the better. The object of that change is my own self, not my annoying family member, neighbor, co-worker. St. John the Baptist calls us to repent, to turn from sin that separates, labels and divides. Jesus shows us how. Jesus bends low to wash feet, to raise the paralyzed, to lift up the woman caught in adultery. Jesus raises us all, whether we are still bound by sin, trapped in our own little world, or whether we have been reawakened by grace to know that He’s by our side, closer than we are to ourselves, the One who empowers us to make and keep resolutions of love.
So, if you're wondering whether I made a New Year's resolution this month, I will leave you guessing! What about you? It's not too late. If you have done so, or decide to, I offer you some inspiring words from St. Francis de Sales, “Be patient with everyone, but especially yourself. Start all over again every day.”
Happy New Year!