Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Year's Resolution: Parish Bulletin--12-28-14

            Merry Christmas and a happy new year!  Remember we continue our Christmas festivities through January 11th (the Solemnity of the Baptism of Jesus).  As retail stores and the media move on to Valentines Day, don’t forget to keep celebrating Christmas!
            As we move into a new year, it is a custom for many to have a new year’s resolution.  I challenge you to pick a resolution from what Matthew Kelly calls the four signs of a dynamic Catholic: prayer, study, generosity and evangelization.  Read the book The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, or listen to the CD (we have both at the office) for a deeper understanding of these signs.  For the purposes of this article, here are a few questions to consider under each.
            If you want to improve in the first sign—prayer—do you pray every day?  Do you read your Bible?  Would you like to do a daily devotion, rosary or prayer with your family?  Do you come to Mass each week?  January 1st is a great time to give one of these a whirl.
            What about study?  We gave out 500 resources at our parish mission and another 500 at Christmas—have you read or listened to yours?  Do you participate in our parish Bible study or follow another series to help you grow in understanding our faith?  Have you ever researched topics in The Catechism of the Catholic Church?  2015 may be the year God is calling you to go deeper in your study of the faith!
            How generous are you?  Do you know how much of your income you give to charity, our parish or school?  What percentage would you like to give this year?  How can you budget to accomplish such a goal this year?  Are you generous with your time and talents with those in need or in helping our church facilities work?
            One of the most needed gifts in Catholic parishes around the country is a greater focus on evangelization.  Perhaps this is what you want to invest in this year.  Do you talk about your faith with your spouse or kids, relatives, coworkers or friends?  Do you pass along resources you receive from our parish?  Are you someone who people come to in crisis for hope? 
            I really appreciate Matthew Kelly’s approach to our faith.  He encourages us to take baby steps toward a realistic faith goal and move toward it daily and faithfully.  And why should we make such goals?  Kelly states that it helps us become the best version of ourselves.  That’s what you want.  That’s what I want for you.  That’s what God wants!
            Make a faith resolution and stick to it!
            God Bless!

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