Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spiritual Resolutions

Have you ever been in a friendship where you got the sense that it was a one way street; something that totally dependent on your initiative?  The friendship may be rewarding in some respects but you know it can be better. Well, I can imagine God sees it that way with many of us. God created us so that we can freely choose to have a relationship with him. But that relationship, if it is to endure, consists of talking and listening to our heavenly Father every day.

As stated in the previous Sky View blogs, the best way to listen to God is through the spiritual reading of Scripture! Even more than listening itself, every good relationship involves action. And this is where resolutions come in.

Writing to one of his spiritual daughters, St. Francis de Sales said this about spiritual resolutions: “My daughter, you must not stop short in general affections, without turning them into special resolutions for your own correction and amendment. For instance, meditating on Our Dear Lord's First Word from the Cross, you will no doubt be roused to the desire of imitating Him in forgiving and loving your enemies. But that is not enough, unless you bring it to some practical resolution, such as, I will not be angered any more by the annoying things said of me by such or such a neighbor, nor by the slights offered me by such an one; but rather I will do such and such things in order to soften and conciliate them. In this way, my daughter, you will soon correct your faults, whereas mere general resolutions would take but a slow and uncertain effect.”

Just as business meetings have action items so as to avoid the discussion of ideas for its own sake, so too meditation on God's Word must, at some point, be translated into specific action items to be carried out that day or soon thereafter. This is how character building and building up virtue is better secured. From this, an interior joy and peace- one that can hardly be explained -is sustained through the ups and downs of life.

Keep in mind that spiritual reading, above all, is to inspire a greater love for Jesus Christ. It's primary end is not to learn so as to impress others, but to be impressed so that we are in a better position to love others and above all, God.

sProperty of the Department of New Evangelization/ Green Bay Diocese