As Catholics, we can use the New Year season to reflect on our faith and to set spiritual goals for the coming year. We can use the occasion to reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus, and to recommit to following His example in the coming year.
There are several ways to approach the New Year with a focus on faith. Here are a few suggestions:
- Develop a daily spiritual practice: This could include reading the Bible, praying, and/or meditating on the scriptures.
- Pray daily: Develop a daily prayer routine that includes personal and communal prayer, such as the Rosary, Divine Office, and other devotions.
- Get involved in the life of the Church: Find ways to serve and support our parish community by participating in liturgical roles, volunteering, or joining a ministry.
- Grow in your understanding and knowledge of the Catholic faith: Attend classes or retreats, or read books about the Catholic faith to deepen your understanding.
- Practice forgiveness: Forgiveness is one of the core principles of Catholicism, and it’s important to forgive others as well as yourself.
- Practice charity: Share your time, talents, and treasures with others, especially those in need.
- Confession: Make regular use of the Sacrament of Confession to receive God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
- Live out your faith: Make a conscious effort to put your faith into action by serving others, being kind and compassionate, and living with integrity.
There are several verses in the Bible that illuminate the idea of a new year and starting fresh. Here are a few examples:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
We can find these verses encouraging as we reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. These verses remind us that God is always with us, He renews us and makes all things new. They also remind us to let go of the past and to trust in God’s guidance for the future.
Being a good Catholic is a lifelong journey, and it’s not about perfection but about growth in your relationship with God and the Church. Remember that the new year is an opportunity to renew your relationship with God and to start fresh, but developing your faith takes time and effort, it’s a continuous process.