New Year’s resolutions can be daunting and overwhelming, setting us up for disappointment rather than renewing our spirits and fueling our lives with hope. For those of us discerning God’s call in our lives, spiritual reflection and setting spiritual goals is probably already part of our daily practice. We have embraced a life stance of seeking and being in God’s presence in all that we do and are. This mindfulness of God’s presence also makes us more aware of God’s action and guidance in our lives. It seems to me that instead of New Year resolutions, God is inviting us to make what I like to call, “new day” resolutions. This mind shift just seems to make resolutions more manageable and possible.
Every day is a new beginning, an opportunity to begin anew or to start over with new insights and perspectives on where we are and where God is calling us. With each new day, we can refocus and recommit to living the life given to us. As we greet each sunrise and sunset with gratitude for the gifts God has bestowed on us, we can open up a space within us for being awakened and transformed by the Spirit into the person we are meant to be.
Admittedly, I am not a disciplined person who finds committing to a daily practice easy. But, with this confession, I am resolved to make some spiritual resolutions one day, one practice at a time. There are so many practices to choose from to help us grow in our relationship with self, others, and God. Three simple, practical ways to growing in your interior life each day are to read from a spiritual book, to write in a prayer journal, and to listen more.
Read from a spiritual book. Give yourself some personal time every day to ponder and reflect on your spiritual life and your discernment by reading books about faith, prayer, spiritual growth, or spirituality. You may want to consider obtaining books from discount bookstores and from your public library. You can find a short list of books about discernment on our webpage here.
Write in a prayer journal. Make a daily habit of writing whatever spiritual thoughts inspire you and about your sense of God’s presence and action in your life. Sometimes this might be a gratitude list, a simple prayer, a letter to God, or a quote from a saint or Scripture. Revisit your journal for encouragement when you find yourself in a spiritual slump.
Listen more and listen deeply. Practice every day quieting your thoughts and opinions and tune in with wonder and curiosity to what God and others are saying. Be attentive to the message in and beyond the words spoken. You may find that in practicing the sacred art of listening to others comes a clarity in hearing God’s messages to you.
What will be your daily spiritual resolutions?
As you grow in your interior life, your desire for spending time in silence and discernment will grow. Consider attending a spiritual retreat so that you can reflect on your life and where God is calling you.
For those discerning a call to religious life as a sister, we are offering a discernment retreat, March 4-6, 2022. For more information about this retreat, please contact Sr. Bea Tiboldi at Bea.Tiboldi@oppeace.org or call or text her at (614) 400-1255.