As we begin our journey through January, the New Year is like a fresh book with 365 blank sheets of paper. A beautiful volume….a book just waiting to have its lines filled.
These sheets have possibilities…incredible possibilities that, when filled with worthy and noble, sincere and optimistic ideals, can result in a growing of character, an increasing of knowledge and a deepening of faith.
What will we write on each of our pages this year?
What are the things that will help us to grow in our vocation this year? What decisions do we have to make in order to become a better woman, wife and mother? These are the things we want to write in our 2023 manuscript. They don’t have to be big changes….not at all. In fact, it is those small things, repeated every day that will make the difference at the end of the year.
Aristotle says, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
3 Suggestions to Help us Inscribe Worthily in Our Books This Year:
Out with the bad and in with the good…
We have had so much sickness within the family these past two months. The grandchildren have really struggled.
So…with the weather being quite mild the last couple of days, a lot of us have opened up our windows to let the germs and bad air OUT…and the good air IN!
Why not, for this year, then, let us open up the windows of our minds to let IN the fresh air of good reading, good sermons, uplifting websites, etc.
Let the germs and stench OUT by refraining from filling our minds with an overdose of politics, in the church and outside of it. Or whatever else that brings us down in spirit and is not necessary for our daily life.
Then, come December 2023, we can look back and see that we have grown in our character and in our faith! It’s the little decisions each day that will make this change come about.
Can we go to daily Mass more? There is nothing more powerful, more healing, more problem-solving than attending Mass and receiving Our Lord. He IS the problem-solver!
Do we want more peace, more joy, more love in our hearts? Let’s go to Mass, there to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Do we want our longings to be fulfilled? Let’s make our way to Mass! Remember when you do, you may not see the results right away, and certainly you may not feel them, but they will be there….and you will notice.
We may not be able to make it to Mass. I know what it was like raising a large family. Then let’s take the time to make a Spiritual Communion, more than once a day! It is very efficacious and gives much grace! You can read this post here on the efficacy of a Spiritual Communion.
St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”
You can “turn toward the Holy Tabernacle” and receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night!
Here is a Spiritual Communion:
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
And let’s remember to call on the name of Jesus throughout each day as discussed in the last post.
We don’t need to add prayers if we already have a spiritual schedule set in place, but we can always work on being more diligent in saying the prayers we already say. Let’s eliminate distractions, if we can….and then patiently embrace those distractions that we can’t eliminate. We must just keep trying to authentically lift our hearts to God as we say our prayers. God sees our efforts!
Will there be things this year that we find bigger than we can control? Will we have problems that are too much for us?
These will be the very opportunities to rely on Him who will come and more than meet us half-way. A faith of a mustard seed….that is all we need. Let us ask God for it…every day this year! Do we realize the peace we would have if we truly believed!? Well, then let’s ask for it!
We can only live our life one day at a time. Things may happen to us this year that are so painful or confusing that we need to just live one hour at a time, maybe one minute, reminding ourselves that God sees everything, that He loves us and that He is the answer. And as my mom has reminded me, “All things are passing….”
Let us lean on Him this year more than ever, bringing every problem to Him for He will show us the way to go.
And let us remember this powerful Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” Amen!
By the end of the year, when we pick up our 2023 volume which will be filled, will we shudder with regrets…..or sigh with humble satisfaction? It’s up to us.
“Out of these many traits let us together choose the ideal woman. First of all, she should be earnest and sincere. Our truly ideal woman will not be silly or frivolous, nor will she be guilty of actions that appear vulgar or unwomanly. She must always have a kind word for others—not a person who will unjustly criticize behind your back. Her clothes are womanly and becoming. She will be known for the beauty of her character rather than the richness of her clothing or ornaments.” – Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood, 1922
Penal Rosaries! Penal rosaries and crucifixes have a wonderful story behind them. They were used during the times when religious objects were forbidden and it was illegal to be Catholic. Being caught with a rosary could mean imprisonment or worse. A penal rosary is a single decade with the crucifix on one end and, oftentimes, a ring on the other. When praying the penal rosary you would start with the ring on your thumb and the beads and crucifix of the rosary in your sleeve, as you moved on to the next decade you moved the ring to your next finger and so on and so forth. This allowed people to pray the rosary without the fear of being detected. Available here.
The book is filled with wonderful advice on how to live a happy life… Available here.
Here is a complete guide to mature, responsible, even noble behavior in our complex modern society. Written in the 1930s by a wise Jesuit priest and steeped in the wisdom of the ages, these pages teach the timeless principles that have led countless souls to true success and lasting happiness…. Available here.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.