Happy Easter Friends! I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful Easter this past Sunday and are continuing to enjoy the grace and blessings of this season.
As you all know I am a lover of new beginnings, fresh starts, and the opportunity to set goals. This year as we welcomed another Easter I thought to myself, this is the start of a new religious year – why not consider setting a goal for your faith journey? Our faith is just like any other aspect of our lives: a work in progress. There will be periods of life that faith is strong and exists as our rock to stabilize us during the storms of life. Yet there will be other seasons where faith seems to aways be the thing that comes last. Rarely is that ever your plan or desire, but it just keeps getting overlooked with the other demands of life. We will never find that perfect communion with our faith until in death – where we hope to find eternal life with our Father. However, in the mean time we should embrace the journey and continue to find ways to incorporate more of our faith practice into daily life.
So I say, no time like the present! The Easter season is here so lets set up some goals. To start, what do I mean by “setting a goal”? Is there something about your religious life that you wish to change? Or is there an aspect of your world that is leaving you lost and confused? Are you in need of God’s great love or wisdom or advice – but not even sure how the heck to find it? Faith is a muscle, so you are going to have to get in the habit of working it out for it to become stronger and to get into the habit of using it.
A goal should be something that requires change and effort, but not so huge it is daunting and unrealistic. I recommend starting with a smaller goal. Something that is easily accomplished, but enough that it requires an actual addition to your daily routine. This will assure you get lots of practice, but if you miss a day or two it is not so hard to jump back in. For instance you might add a rosary a day or start reading a daily prayer book (like my favorite Jesus Calling). How about you consider journaling to God? That will help you bear your inner thoughts, but also work through your circumstances in a way that could provide clarity. Or maybe it is just as simple as setting the morning alarm clock to go off a few minutes early so you can pray (even from your bed) about your day and then carving out the last few minutes of your day for prayer time.
But hey – if you are thinking goal means go big or go home…. then I say go big!!! Perhaps you already do a few of those things I suggested daily so the questions is what would really shake up your prayer life? How about adding adoration a few times a week (or even daily!!)? Maybe you could look at adding a few masses to your week and not just reserving church for Sundays. Perhaps you feel closest to God when you serve others. What are a few of the charities you have been meaning to support or a cause you really care about, but just haven’t gotten around to researching? Find a way to carve out time daily or weekly or monthly for actual action.
And remember goals are best achieved with a plan. So let’s say you want to attend adoration – why not finding a few of the chapels that offer it (especially if they offer it 24 hours a day!!)? Or you pick a few charities and on your lunch hour just make a few calls to learn more. If you are looking to add a rosary a day – do you have rosaries in your car or purse? What about researching a few good authors and finding the best daily prayer study that works for you (Lysa Terkeurst and Angie Smith are a few of my favs!)? You have to get started to make the real work happen…. so build a little to do list and get cracking! I swear, if you take just a few little steps, the surge of energy or excitement you will feel will propel you forward. Let Easter 2018 be your best yet!
For me this year, I will be adding more scripture to my daily life. During Lent when speaking with a priest in confession about my faith practices he brought up the need to add scripture into my daily prayers. He reminded me that the bible is God’s word and there really is no substitute, or better way to hear God’s direction than by reading his messages to us. So I will be adding scripture to my daily prayers and readings. I am a little torn between a journaling bible, memorizing versus, or a few bible studies I have been hoping to try out. When I find what works…. I will be sure to share and if you smart folks have any suggestions I am all ears!
However you wish to celebrate – with a goal, eating meat on Fridays, or just spreading the good news and joy of Jesus – I hope you let the beauty of Easter and the story it tells wash over you and continue to make you whole in His presence. And thank you for those of you have taken the time reach out in addition to reading the blog. Your kind words mean more than you know and I am taking a little bit of time to get back to folks – but I will be in touch!
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!