If you’re like me and worried that the scales are going to crash when you step on them, that you won’t be able to pay the bills this year, and most of all that your spiritual life seems to be going down the drain fast you might be tempted to throw in the towel and not bother with New Years’ resolutions.
Let me advise you right now that New Year’s resolutions on their own are probably not much use. I don’t know many people who have overcome bad habits and really changed their lives through will power alone. Something more than that is needed, and this is where paying attention to the health of your spiritual life may actually be more practical than anything else you do.
What I’m talking about is roots and foundations. Your bad habits are only the symptom of the disease. The reason you do what you do is because you haven’t had the healing and forgiveness and transformation you need at the deep down level. If the roots are bad the fruits are bad. We need new foundations, and only attention to our spiritual life can change things at that very foundation level of our personalities.
I really believe that if we want to lose weight, have a better marriage, be more successful in relationships, control our temper, stop swearing, be cured of lust and rage and really be different people then the only way that is possible is by being changed at the root level. The kind of prayer that really changes us is meditation and contemplation.
Meditation–especially the rosary–ministers to the deep areas of our hearts and minds. Through the meditative technique and the repetitious prayers the parts of our hearts that really need changing are touched in ways beyond explanation or explication. This is the theme of my book Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing and it is the content of the new booklet I’m writing called Healing the Mother-Father Wound.
Meditation helps to heal, but contemplation is even more life changing. Entering into the silence with God–especially through Eucharistic Adoration–touches us at a deep level. Pope John Paul taught that as we spend time in Eucharistic Adoration we begin to reflect the glory of the one we worship. We sort of soak up Jesus if you like, and his presence in our lives transforms us from glory to glory.
So I’m going to wade into this new year with some solid resolutions, but they’re all going to be bolstered by the one resolution that supports them all: the resolution to pray more, to say the Rosary every day and to spend more time beholding the face of Christ in silent contemplation. If I can do this, then everything else will be possible because remember, “With God all things are possible.”