January 1, 2017
Happy New Year! This is a time when many of us make New Year’s resolutions, and I hope that we always include resolutions related to practice of the faith and to our relationship with Christ. At the beginning of last year, Pope Francis offered ten suggestions to Vatican employees* that seem like really good New Year’s resolutions, so I thought I’d share them with you here:
- “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
- “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”
- “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
- “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”
- “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
- “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”
- “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
- “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
- “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”
- “Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.”
I think these ten suggestions are very concrete and practical things that any of us can put into practice, but if we really make an effort to do them, they can transform our lives. Our relationship with Christ really can look a lot different in 2017 than it did in 2016.
And so I encourage you, before we get too deep into this new year, to think of some concrete steps that you will take to deepen your relationship with Christ this year. The effort you put into these types of resolutions will never be wasted!