Happy New Year!
You may think that we’re jumping the gun, but if you’re a Catholic, you’re gearing up for a brand new year whether you know it or not.
Advent kicks of this weekend and brings with it the beginning of Year C, a brand new liturgical year.
So, like we said, happy New Year!
So even though this Catholic New Year starts off without fireworks and countdowns, there’s no reason you can’t make a few resolutions for the liturgical year ahead. Here are somethings you might consider for your interior life in the New Year.
1. Head to confession
What a better way to celebrate a new year than with a clean soul? Check out the local confession times in your area and make a plan to make a good confession before Christmas comes.
Advent is a great time to find yourself in the confessional line. “With all that’s going on, we want to be absolutely ready to receive that little Infant Jesus,” Retired Auxiliary Bishop Louis A. DeSimone once said. “When I go to holy Communion on Christmas, I want to go as white and pure as I can.”
2. Take time for daily reflection
The first part of this Catholic new year is a season of preparation for Christmas. Advent invites us to pause, despite the holiday rush, and spend time in reflection.
Resolve to not give into the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holidays and simply abide with the Lord in this time, preparing your heart to receive him as a little baby born in Bethlehem.
3. Give generously
Dr. Seuss famously wrote, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!” We each have special gifts (charisms!) that we can give others, and they aren’t gifts that we can pick up off of the shelf at Target. Target is wonderful, but it only has so much.
This year, donate your time with an organization that you’re passionate about. Maybe you have a gift of teaching. Spend time at an after school program in your area and invest in the kids of your community and parish.
Regardless of what your gifts and talents are, there is a way to share them (and your time!) with the world and your community. Spend time researching the options out there for you and commit to one during this new year!
4. Ask a saint to walk the journey with you
Need some special help for the (Catholic) new year? Maybe you’re looking ahead to major life changes, new jobs, or trips. Perhaps this upcoming year will be full of opportunities to trust the Lord.
Regardless of what your new year will look like, you don’t have to go at it alone. You’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and the saints are an incredible source of help. Pick a patron for your upcoming year and start getting to know them and including them in your daily prayer.
Don’t know which saint to pick? Check out Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint Name Generator for great suggestions.
5. Pray the rosary
Looking for some Heavenly help, protection against temptation, and an opportunity to receive an indulgence? Look no further than adding a Rosary to your daily prayer life this new year!
Read more: 5 Reasons Why You Should Pray a Daily Rosary
Already pray the Rosary on a daily basis? That’s awesome! This year, resolve to invite others to pray the Rosary with you, or teach others to pray the Rosary.
6. Take a look at your media
It can be easy to think that what we consume on social media, television, and our smart phones won’t affect our relationship with the Lord, but we’d be fooling ourselves to think that the media we consume doesn’t make a difference in our lives.
This new year’s, take a good long look at your Netflix queue, Spotify playlists, iTunes podcasts, and the social media accounts you’re following. Do they lead you closer to the Lord?
If the answer is “no,” replace them with media choices that inspire you to grow deeper in your relationship with God.