New Year's Resolutions for Eternity

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Teresa Tomeo on Jan 14, 2014
Tagged in: Teresa's Blog

PopeFrancis 280x320Have you given up on your New Year's resolutions already? The New Year represents a time of new beginnings for many, but do you make your resolutions based on emotions and feelings tied to temporal things like saving money, losing weight, or reducing the clutter in your life? Is that where God wants you to focus your effort and energy right now? What resolution can you make to deepen your relationship with Christ during this coming year?...for a lifetime?...for eternity? Sometimes a simple resolution is better.


It isn't exactly a New Year's resolution, but it is something I resolve to keep on doing every year and that's reading the homilies of the Pope.  This started for me several years ago during the Papacy of Benedict XVI when, thanks to technology, the homilies were made available on-line through the Vatican.  Being that I keep up on the daily Mass readings, adding the Pope's thoughts on the scriptures of the day really helped me to absorb what the Church was trying to impart through God's word.


I have continued the practice with the words of our new Pope, Pope Francis.  His homilies, for example, through the Christmas holidays, are all keepers with many nuggets of wisdom that can help carry us through the start of 2014 and bring us closer to Christ throughout the seasons. 


My favorite so far in this New Year was his homily for the Feast of the Epiphany.  It was an affirmation and an encouragement for me to read how the Pope is calling for us to be like the Magi of the East and to have a "holy cunning" with the light of Christ illuminating our journey.  The Pope said this "holy cunning" is a spiritual shrewdness which enables us to recognize danger and avoid it.  The Magi, the Pope explained, teach us not to fall into the snares of darkness and that we must defend ourselves from the shadows which seek to envelop our life.


Now most of us don't have a power-hungry and violently jealous ruler looking to hunt us down, well at least not in the physical sense.  But we all have our struggles and temptations, and there is no doubt that the world can be a very dark place particularly when we leave God out of the picture, as I did for so many years.  The closer we are to God, through His word, and the gifts of the Church, the sharper that "holy cunning" will be, and the sooner we will discover what God's plan is for our own lives.  


PacwaPhoto wBook

God's plan for Jesus was to be born and live in Israel in order to bring the Good News to the world. We are called, as Christians, to be like Christ. We all can't live in Israel, but we can experience what Jesus did. The President of Israel invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land this May. He is expected to travel to the place the Magi visited in the Holy Land. I have had the privilege of visiting there many times, and walking the places Jesus did will bring you closer to him than you ever thought possible. If you have always wanted to go but just haven't been able to for one reason or another, I recommend Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.'s book, The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage to take you there. It is a beautiful book that includes meditations and pictures of the holy sites of Israel. It will help enrich your spiritual life tremendously and allow you to, at least visually, experience the Holy Land today. Perhaps using it as a prayer aid could be your simple resolution for awhile.


I'm excited for this New Year and hope you and your families have many blessings in the months ahead.

Buon Capodanno!