Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Do You Have Spiritual Resolutions for 2011? #Catholic

Happy New Year, everyone! Another year closes and a new one begins. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We Catholics continue to celebrate the birth of Christ and remember that time in history when wise men sought Him and the Holy Family rejoiced.

I always love New Year's Day. It makes me feel as though I have this huge white board in front of me, white a fresh-fallen snow, and I have the opportunity to make positive changes in my life. We all know about the common resolutions most people have during this time. Losing weight, exercising more, eating more nutritional meals, reading good books, and volunteering may all be worthy resolutions that will reap great rewards. But have you ever made a spiritual resolution? Something that will help you grow closer to God and strengthen your faith?

Mine for this year was quickly determined. I have chosen Mary as my spiritual resolution. I want to understand her more, and understand her role in the Church and in my life. For many years, I operated under the Protestant view of Mary, which isn't much. She was brought out around Christmas and that was it. So returning to the Catholic Church has included having to re-examine my thoughts regarding her and asking for God's grace to accept Church teaching.

I'm nowhere near being a Marianist and at this point, not worried if I ever will be. I'm taking this one step at a time. And as a matter of fact, another woman from my parish will be joining me for walking sessions where we walk and talk about Mary. She also has questions and reservations and we figured it would be good to explore these things together. I've already accepted the Immaculate Conception. There are other doctrines that I'll be examining and praying for God's guidance on knowing the truth and receiving it.

Attending today's Mass was part of this resolution. Today is the Solemnity of Mary, a feast day. It celebrates Mary's motherhood of Jesus. It also is the first Saturday of the month, perfectly beginning the New Year with the First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There are five First Saturdays to this devotion, although they happen throughout the year. I find it fascinating how this devotion is meant to revere Mary, but yet also bring us closer to Jesus. Some Protestants don't understand this devotion but I can say that Mary is nothing without Christ. She is always pointing the way to Him. She never takes any glory for herself.

Recently, I heard a priest say something beautiful. He was talking about the Holy Rosary. He said, "The Rosary is a meditation on Jesus Christ, and seeing Him through the eyes of His mother." That really impacted me. I do meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, but never saw it as that -- viewing Jesus through the eyes of His mother. And we all know how much mothers love their children! So these are with eyes of love that we are viewing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I'll be commenting this year on any kind of spiritual lessons I'm learning as a result of this devotion. I do have the book by St. Louis de Montfort, Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I tried to do it in 2010 but didn't succeed. I'm going to try again this year.

I hope 2011 is an amazing year for you and that you, also, are drawn closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that we all know Him in a greater degree, starting today. :-)


X said...

Happy New Year Mary Rose! I don't know if you like Scott Hahn's books but his "Hail Holy Queen" is one I always recommend to those who are seeking to know Mary better.

Mary Rose said...

Angela, yep. Read it! It was really good. Now I'm going to follow up by taking his course through the St. Paul Theological Center online. (can't beat the price... it's free!)

Looking forward to a spectacular 2011!

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

I recommend the Total Consecration to Mary by St Louis De Montfort..I just made mine..

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Happy New Year, Mary Rose! I agree that Total Consecration to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort is a great one. Pope John Paul II used it, after all!

God bless!


kkollwitz said...

This year I resolve to
This year I
This...never mind.

Unknown said...

I'd recommend St. Alphonsus Ligouri's work "The Glories of Mary." You can even find it online. It's excellent and greatly deepened my love for Mary and helped me better understand what an absolute TREASURE the Mother of our Lord is for the followers of her Son.