Resolution: the Epiphany moment
Photo by Natsuki from Unsplash
God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him. (1 Jn 4:16-17)
God’s desire for us is that we live in Him in the grace of the present moment now, not later. But to ‘abide in Him’ we must allow Him to change us so that we become ‘just like Him’. Realizing this can bring a myriad of reactions … “been there, done that” having made resolutions to change myself every New Year’s, Lent, birthday and Advent … the yo-y0 effect of being absolutely sure every morning that I’ll keep my resolutions only to give in about 3pm that afternoon … a scream of “YIKES” realizing that me changing myself fails because it remains centered in me … suppressing the “YIKES” and coming up with a ‘better’ resolution.
“How is it then that peace is so rare, even in our soul? It may be because we lack the courage without which true peace is unattainable, and with or without which the pseudo-peace we have built up in our imagination is unattainable…. The condition of peace is courage, but the moments in which we most long for it are those when courage seems most difficult. When all that we want is to loosen our hold, to throw off responsibility, to rest. We want not a sword, but a lap big enough to bury our head on.” (Caryll Houselander) [i]
Ultimately our desire for change rests in our desire for peace. But do I have the courage to seek it? Peace is an outcome of change; the end of a transition that begins in unrest and uncertainty. I like the idea of peace but how agreeable am I to the change that brings it on? Through God’s Word as taught by the saints, I know letting Him change me means Christ implants more of Himself onto my soul. Filled with Him, He can inspire those around me whom I love. Resembling Him, my prayers are more efficacious because they are His prayers as He is praying inside me. Yet I resist.
This brings hard questions we must each ask ourselves: Do I really want my prayers answered? Do I really believe it might happen? If I truly wanted intercession for others, for God to work a miracle in their lives, why won’t I let Him work one in mine? What will it take to permit Him to annihilate my fear so as to replace it with trust?
The gift of being Catholic is the wealth of ways we have to pray and place ourselves before our Father God. The bane of being Catholic is that we tend to seclude ourselves in intercessory prayer to change others rather than relational prayer to change ourselves. People will more quickly take on extra rosaries and fasting in reparation for a world gone mad than to sit a mere 20 minutes and ask God the burning question: Why did you let XXX happen? We can see from the testimony of Mother Elvira the peace that comes when we permit Him to heal our past.[ii] Saints attest to this too.
We make resolutions to change things within our own human powers. Perhaps it is time to change that, and instead resolve to let God be in charge. A resolution that addresses the apex of life directs all below it. The apex of life is our relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and their Spirit of Love. Why do we instead make resolutions that address the middle layer—a bad habit, a self-made goal, our duties?
I can resolve for myself to take on a daily regimen of praying the rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, fasting, perfection and exhausting myself into a pulp. Or I can simply resolve to pray one decade of the rosary each day with deep intention for my relationship with Him, focused on every word spoken as if I were whispering it in God’s ear—because I am. Consider how the entire world would change if we each did this.
All we need for 2021 is one simple resolution: to ask God “What is one thing I need to do, or not do, that will change my relationship with you?” And then do it.
The new year has arrived and the world about us is aflutter speaking of resolutions, both made and broken. Taking my mind out of that thinking and instead focusing upon the spiritual reality within which we exist, I realize that every day is Christmas day and Jesus is again born in my heart. The best resolution can simply be to focus on that reality: my own epiphany moment.
Yet we cannot lose sight of intercessory prayer for our worldwide Church! Remember, the souls of the holy ones pray even in their sleep, and so must ours! Continue to pray for Pope Francis, all clergy and religious, our worldwide Church and for conversion of our country.
Sacred Infant, all Divine,
What a tender love was Thine;
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this!
Teach, O teach us, Holy Child,
By Thy Face so meek and mild;
Teach us to resemble Thee
In Thy sweet humility.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
[ii] Mother Elvira on healing https://spiritualdirection.com/2019/12/11/to-serve-is-to-reign
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