Daniel Fachting

It’s the new year 2022. As the saying goes, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!” Actually, I am in pretty good shape for being an old guy. Humor put aside, it is also a time when we make resolutions to improve.  

Most of us have great intensions, but soon give up. Sometimes the resolution is bigger and harder than we imagine, doesn’t have the reward expected, can’t be done for a whole year, or we just get bored with it as it loses its freshness. Sometimes we just don’t have the will power to stay with it, or we just forget about it. I have done all these things.

When reading the latest edition of Faith Magazine put out by the Diocese of Saginaw, I read ten suggestions offered by Bishop Gruss. They ranged from praying a half hour per day to attending mass with family, to making time for spiritual reading. All ten were great suggestions and I hope to include some of them in the new year, especially praying for the Bishop.  

While pondering the reason for failing to keep resolutions, I came up with a few practical reasons for not keeping them as they apply to me. The resolutions I make are too grandiose, unrealistic, and too long of a time, and too many. While I seem to be able to do little things for a short time, too many big things over a long time get ignored and forgotten. The result is that I don’t keep them and feel awful, a failure.

May I make a suggestion that may offer a greater chance of success with resolutions? Write a list of about ten things that you would like to do for the new year. Taking Bishop Gruss’s suggestions, include praying more, reading the Bible, doing works of mercy, inviting a friend to mass, go to the sacraments, join a study group, along with getting in shape, losing weight, and being more positive. Maybe you would like to listen to less news. Some of my patients have done that. Others have resolved to listen more to loved ones, especially spouses and children. Perhaps spending more time with them.

Now that you have your list, write each on a separate piece of paper and put them in a hat. Draw out one, just one! Resolve to do that one for only a month or even for just a week. At the end of that time, pick out another and try that one for just a month or a week. I am going to give it a try. I hope to be more successful, and I may even learn a new habit that is good for me.

My personal wish for you is that you continue to keep Jesus on the throne of your whole existence, that you may, “see him more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly, day by day.” Best wishes for the new year.

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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