The following guest post is by Father Kyle Doustou, a priest of the Diocese of Portland, Maine.
Friends, we have now entered the year of grace 2017. For whatever reason, I feel it deep within my bones that this year is going to be very challenging, for the Church and for the world. So let’s not take a single moment of this new year for granted and use every second we have been given to grow closer to Christ.
Some basic, practical suggestions:
If you don’t pray, start. If you do pray, pray more. Beef up your devotional life.
If you don’t fast, start. If you do fast, fast more. Strengthen your will. Get better at saying “no” to your appetites and passions.
If you’re lax about Mass attendance, get your priorities straight. Go every Sunday and Holy Day – nothing is more important. Nothing.
If you don’t go to confession, go. Regularly. Stop waiting. Stop making excuses.
Get more intentional about knowing your faith. Study it. Learn it. Share it. Defend it.
Spend more time at home with your family. Eat together. Work together. Play together. Pray together.
Cut out the non-essentials. Simplify your homes and your lives.
Give more of yourself (your prayers and your time, but also your money and your skills) to those who need help. If you don’t know who needs help, trot down to your local parish office – your priest can give you a list, I’m sure.
A relationship with Christ is not ethereal and it’s not simply an “internal” reality. It is something that is lived out, day by day, in mind, body, and soul. It is not a given and it can never be taken for granted.
Now is the time.