To resolve or not to resolve—that is the question
We’re approaching the threshold of a new year. Will you begin 2022 with a list of resolutions? I threw that tradition out five years ago. I noticed that all I resolved had quickly dissolved. It seemed like a futile exercise.
Yet, I’ve been thinking lately. Perhaps we would benefit by making resolutions daily, instead of annually. After all, it’s an opportunity to turn the mirror on ourselves and consider improving what we see. And how many of us only check ourselves in the mirror on the wall once a year? We use it daily to see how to improve our appearance.
Why not use our internal mirror daily to see how to do better and be better? In 2022, turn resolution-making into a daily practice—an active practice of contemplation, mindfulness, or even prayer.
This seventeenth-century nun’s prayer is an example of what that could look like:
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but you, Lord, know that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with—but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me O Lord the grace to tell them so.
Amen. . .
and Happy New Year!