Happy New Year!
I put together an exciting show for you today. It’s a new year and we talked New Year Resolutions and the feast of the Epiphany… AND, for all you perhaps newly health-conscious folks, I even shared a healthy recipe with you today: my Lebanese Lentil and Spinach Soup.
But first… I tackled the elephant in the room. You see it, right? You know the one I’m talking about, right? The big Epiphany elephant? No? Well, let me explain…
The Church in the United States celebrated the feast of the Epiphany yesterday, January 3rd. But traditionally the feast is celebrated on January 6. You know, the 12 Days of Christmas and all. [This might be the topic of tomorrow’s show, by the way. I’m thinking of calling it Moveable Feasts.] But for now, I’ll just point out the fact that the Church allows national bishop conferences to move certain feast days from their traditional dates to the closest Sunday so that more of the faithful can participate in the celebrations. Personally, I’m not a big fan of this. Truth be told, I’m really more of a liturgical purist… and a historical purist. I like keeping the how and the why of things intact.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
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Links from the Show
Below are a number of items I discussed on today’s show…
Chalking the Door: An Epiphany House Blessing 2016
Soooo… have you heard about chalking the door for the Epiphany? My wife and I have done this before. A couple of times. We did not do it this year, but I do want to share this little tradition with you because I really like it. I think it helps to bring home the meaning of… well… home. Hospitality and all that. Welcoming people into our homes as we would Christ Jesus. It’s also a great tradition to do with small kids because… you get to draw on the walls with chalk! And I think it helps them to really make that connection between church and home. You know… that Jesus is welcome at home too. Not just at church.
Here’s a great little article that will walk you through how to do it. If you didn’t do it on Sunday, no worries. The real feast day is Wednesday anyway. January 6… the 12th day of Christmas. 😉
We invite you to adopt this custom in your family. The family gathers to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
Read the full article here: Chalking the Door: An Epiphany House Blessing 2016
New Year’s Resolutions: 7 Tips to Help Make Them Stick
From an article I wrote in 2012 for Our Sunday Visitor:
1. THINK SMALL
One of the major reasons we tend to fail our resolutions is that we try to take on too much. Be realistic. Instead of resolving to lose 30 pounds, resolve to lose 10. Then reassess. Instead of resolving to gather all members of the family together for dinner every night, try for three or four nights a week. Small steps help build confidence and momentum.
2. GO SLOW
Trying to accomplish our resolutions too quickly can set us up for failure. But if we go slowly, we can make a major transformation that sticks.
You can’t go from couch potato to triathlete overnight. Start by walking in the morning or evening. After walking for a week or two (and starting to establish a new habit), you can step it up to a jog.
3. MAKE A PLAN
Why are you making a particular resolution? What’s the reason behind it? We need to think through the “why” of our resolutions if we want them to stick. We need to make a plan. We need to know the why, the what and the how.
4. WRITE IT DOWN
I can’t stress this one enough. I’m sure there’s really not any magic to writing it down. But, in my experience, and in what I have read from others, the effect of writing it down is like magic. Make a plan. Write it down. And keep it where you can see it. Often.
5. CALL FOR BACKUP
You’ve seen those intense cop TV dramas. What do officers do when there’s even a chance that something can go wrong? They call for backup. And so should we. Having an“accountability partner” for our resolutions can help us push through in times of temptation and times of discouragement.
6. BE READY TO FORGIVE
Failure happens. If we are not prepared to pick ourselves up and move on when we fall, we won’t get far with our resolutions, or in life. If we fail in our resolutions, there’s no need to throw in the towel. Let’s just pick ourselves up, forgive ourselves and try again.
We can’t do anything without God. We need the grace of God to make any changes in our lives. Start and finish each day with prayer. If we do, we will be surprised at how much has changed when we look back on 2014.
Read the rest of the article here: 7 Tips to Help Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick.
Fr. Samuel Medley on New Year’s Resolutions
What are New Year’s resolutions?
-They CAN BE good if you are realistic first about the evaluation of your life, and about actual steps you will truly make to improve it.
-It is FAR BETTER to examine your life at the end of each day and adjust daily your real behavior based on actual experience, making resolutions that are one step, not ten, in the right direction. Catholics do this every time at Night Prayer, or Compline.
-Being truly realistic and honest WITH yourself means you exercise a certain level of suspicion in your own capacity to keep promises. Are your resolutions measurable in time or resources? If not they are probably pie in the sky and pretty ideas with no teeth. Make reachable goals. Accomplish them. Set new ones. Daily.
-Being honest ABOUT yourself means that you also avoid self-loathing, undue harsh self-criticism that isn’t founded on the Love God has for you, but the negative self perception that is born from the dark shadow of not yet accepting His undying love in all the cracks and corners of your misery. God is patient with you, why aren’t you?
-Thus resolutions of changed behavior are based on true Hope, neither on false presumption, nor on empty despair, but the divine Love that gives true hope for actual change for the better.
-Real resolutions must needs be reflected in your relationships of those closest to you. The people around you that you see are the most immediate mirror of how you actually behave. Are they better off or do they have to recover from contact with you? Do rejoice them or do you embitter them?
-They engender hope, joy, and enthusiasm for life lived fully alive and well.
Originally posted on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/frsamuelmedley/posts/10208861334958777:1
Pope Francis Resolutions Meme
1. DON’T GOSSIP.
“When we gossip, we “are doing what Judas did,” and “begin to tear the other person to pieces. Every time we judge our brother in our hearts or worse when we speak badly of them with others, we are murdering Christians,” Francis says. “There is no such thing as innocent slander.”
2. FINISH YOUR MEAL.
“Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.”
3. MAKE TIME FOR OTHERS.
“If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.” Fr James Martin
4. CHOOSE THE ‘MORE HUMBLE’ PURCHASE.
“Certainly, possessions, money, and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. ‘Put on Christ’ in your life, place your trust in him, and you will never be disappointed!”
5. MEET THE POOR ‘IN THE FLESH’.
“Hospitality in itself isn’t enough. It’s not enough to give a sandwich if it isn’t accompanied by the possibility of learning to stand on one’s own feet. Charity that does not change the situation of the poor isn’t enough.”
6. STOP JUDGING OTHERS.
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
“Let us not forget that hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives!”
7. BEFRIEND THOSE WHO DISAGREE.
“When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families, and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice.”
8. MAKE COMMITMENTS, SUCH AS MARRIAGE.
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy,”
9. MAKE IT A HABIT TO ‘ASK THE LORD’.
“Dear young people,” he says, “some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: ‘Speak, Lord, for I am listening’ (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?”
10. BE HAPPY.
“Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path.”
List found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/giboteodoro/photos/a.137063894186.134494.103173344186/10153039285104187/?type=3