It’s that time of year—the time when everyone sits down and writes out their New Year’s Resolutions.
But you forgot, or didn’t finish, or didn’t commit just yet, right?
Sure, you could resolve to go to the gym and make it a goal to lose 10 pounds. But why not make a resolution to grow in holiness instead? Not sure where to start? Here are seven ideas to make 2022 your holiest year yet.
Pray a daily rosary
The rosary is one of the most powerful prayers our Church has to offer us — so powerful in fact, that Mary has specifically requested we pray it daily in nearly all of her apparitions. And yet, so few of us actually pray it daily. There are a lot of reasons you may not have committed to making a daily rosary a habit.
The rosary is long — about 20 minutes from start to finish. But if you are honest with yourself, you’ve spent longer browsing Facebook and random articles online. If you are still having trouble finding the time, or even if you just feel intimidated by the idea of blocking off 20 minutes for a single prayer, you can make things easier by breaking it up. The rosary is filled with natural breaks. To make it feel more manageable, try praying it a decade at a time. For example, you could pray a decade when you wake up, a decade during your morning commute, one at lunch, another on your way home, and one last decade before bed.
Attend Confession monthly
Catholics are only required to go to Confession once a year, but you can gain a lot of spiritual benefit from going more frequently. Many Saints and Popes have recommended going to Confession often. Frequent Confession can help you grow in holiness by giving you a chance to regularly reflect on your sins and make a more focused effort on overcoming habitual sin. Frequent Confession also means that your soul will be continually flooded with the spiritual graces that the Sacrament offers. If you already attend Confession monthly, make a resolution to go weekly instead.
Sign up for a Holy Hour
If Eucharistic Adoration is available at your local parish, consider signing up for a weekly Holy Hour. Parishes that provide perpetual Adoration are required to ensure that someone is present with the Eucharist at all times. If you are able, volunteering your time to sit with the Lord for an hour each week is a wonderful way to grow in holiness. If attending Eucharistic Adoration isn’t possible for you at this point in your life, you can also consider making a weekly holy hour in your own home.
Create a spiritual reading list
Setting a yearly reading goal is a common practice for the New Year. Why not put together a reading list to grow in your faith life as well? Depending on how fast you read, one book a month may be a reasonable goal for you. You can read books about apologetics, prayer, theology, or memoirs and biographies about the Saints.
Try liturgical living
Liturgical living is having a huge moment right now. Practicing liturgical living in your own home can be a simple as adding a home altar or prayer table, or as complex as celebrating the feast days of the Saints each month. It is a way to bring the faith into your daily life and make Catholicism less something you do on Sunday and more a lifestyle. For inspiration, check out Instagram (#liturgicalliving) and read some liturgical living blogs.
Discover a new devotion
Did you know that every month in the Catholic Church is dedicated to a different devotion? There are hundreds of devotions in the Church. Consider spending some time this year to find a few that resonate with you. Perhaps you love the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Divine Mercy, or Our Lady of Sorrows. Maybe a particular chaplet brings your heart peace every time you pray, or a specific Saint inspires you. Whatever it is, find some devotions that speak to you and make an effort to incorporate them into your life.
Explore different spiritualities
The Church is not a static, bland thing — it is a living organism, full of individuals with different personalities. Whoever you are, there is sure to be a spirituality — that is, a way of praying and living in the faith — that really works for you. Consider exploring a different spirituality each month this year, and make it your goal to find which one works best for you. Perhaps you really enjoy charismatic prayer. Maybe you are more interested in Ignatian spirituality. Maybe you are more contemplative. Discovering the expression of your faith that works best for you will help you get the most out of your prayer life and advance even further on your path to holiness.
Featured image: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.