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Resolution-Maker for 2017

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Resolution-Maker for 2017
In the classic He And IFrench mystic Gabrielle Bossis, like the rest of us, started every year with something new. But her “resolutions” were very different from ours. Her conversations with God, recorded in her journal according to the date they took place, always started on January first with something called a “keynote,” what we might think of as a theme for the year. 
And all of these themes have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with self-improvement, with losing weight, with working out, with getting a better job. They’re all about becoming closer to God. Read the article What if Jesus gave you a theme for the year (Hint: It would be better than a resolution!) and then use the following to set a theme for yourself for 2017!

Here are a few examples:

•    January 1, 1937: “Here is your keynote for the year: Purely and simply.”
•    January 1, 1938: “This year you will love Me in My brothers. Do for them what you would do for Me.”
•    January 1, 1943: "In each other’s hearts. You will keep yours in Mine and I’ll be in yours.”
•    January 1, 1947: “Keep going. Do good.”
•    January 1, 1949: “Serve. Find your joy in serving God and your neighbor.”“

 

Setting a Theme for 2017! (Download PDF here)

So there’s a brand-new calendar on the wall, filled with possibilities. What do I want my new year to be like? Can I ask Jesus to give me a theme (or “keynote”) for this year, as he did for Gabrielle? What might it be?

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Turning to God in prayer, I humbly ask for guidance as I think about the year to come. There are a number of areas where I can resolve to make changes:

 

My inner life: how can I feel closer to God? Are there changes I can make in my prayer schedule? Attendance at Mass? Reading spiritual books, Scripture, classics? Here’s what I believe I am being called to:

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My family: how can I improve our life together? Sometimes families can feel overwhelming. What can I do differently this year that will encourage closeness, challenge everyone to grow, and help me keep things in perspective? Here’s what I believe I am being called to:

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My place in the world: where am I needed? As I look at my availability

and skills, there is certainly a place where I can help make my community a better place. Where can I volunteer my time, my money, and my expertise? Here’s what I believe I am being called to:

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My work: how can I feel that I’m doing something significant? I

can honor God in the simplest of ways, by being the best that I can at my job, by always asking what else I can contribute, by learning and growing in it every day. Here’s what I believe I am being called to:

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My health: how can I take care of this temple of the Holy Spirit?

This isn’t about looking good at the beach: this is about caring for the amazing physical body that God gave me. Do I need more sleep? More exercise? Better nutrition? Here’s what I believe I am being called to:

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New Year’s resolutions are simpler when we let go of what popular culture tells us we need and listen to what God is telling us we need instead. Find your own “keynote” for 2017 and follow it through in these important areas of your life. Print it out, put it on your refrigerator, in your missal, wherever it can remind you of what you are about in 2017.

The Daughters of St. Paul are praying for you to have a blessed year!

Why not share your theme for 2017 below?

Download PDF here.

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