January 3, 2016 - Epiphany of our Lord

New Year of Mercy’s Resolutions

Merry Christmas!  I guess that I thought that I would use this opportunity to talk about what we can do to get the most out of this year of mercy.  We can be sure that there are unique opportunities of grace which the Lord intends to give us this year.

The Holy Father’s declaration of a holy year announces a special time of such opportunities of grace. These opportunities come because the Lord has put on the pope’s heart a desire to declare such a year of mercy. So in a way, we know these graces are there because the pope says they are. But we could also say that these graces are present anytime we would direct our attention in an intentional way to receiving grace. So in another way, we know these graces are there because we are now intentionally asking for them. Either way, there is much of divine help on the way in this year of mercy.

So how are you going to celebrate the Year of Mercy? Turning your attention to receive whatever grace the pope’s intuitions perceive regarding this outpouring of mercy will increase your experience of the year. So what are you going to do? Might I suggest some things? The pope has singled out confession. Can we make it a priority to go more frequently? What if for a year, we resolved to go to confession    What if, for a year, we resolved once a month to go confess before God and before man, how we are struggling to embrace the good. What if, for a year, we experienced once a month the redeeming love of the Father who comes racing out to meet us even though we are still a long way off and who puts shoes on our feet, a ring on our finger, and a robe around our shoulders and brings us into a banquet in our honor? This happens every time we go to confession.

Do you know the Divine Mercy chaplet? Look it up online. What if we tried to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet once a week? What if we tried to pray the rosary as a family, or as a couple, or as an individual once a week?

As we get closer to the feast of Divine Mercy, I will recommend that we do the “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” retreat available on formed.org. But if you haven’t yet done “33 Days to Morning Glory”, locate a feast of Mary and try to do that consecration 33 days in advance of the Marian feast in preparation for the “consoling the Heart of Jesus” do-it-yourself retreat.

Or try to put into practice even more the works of mercy. Starting next week, I will begin to reflect on the Works of Mercy. Certainly, putting these into practice to a greater degree will help us mine whatever graces are hidden in the next year for us!