Sister Mary Martha wrote a wonderful blog about resolutions and why we fail to keep them.
For myself, keeping promises is something that I can’t do. In fifth grade, I promised someone that I would write to them every week and didn’t even try. When I was in college, I made a vow of completely and total celibacy and that worked only until I met the next pretty female face. Needless to say, I’ve broken lots of promises and resolutions that I’ve made over the years. Recently, however, I have found more strength to keep the ones I make.
The thing about resolutions is that they fall by the wayside quickly. We make them and keep at them for two or three days. Then, on the third day, there is an automatic relapse. The pretty face is back on the bus, we make that first smoke after two years cold turkey, or something else. We are back where we started and we just keep going in the same habit for a year and then make the same resolution the next year.
For a long time, I’ve struggled with sins against purity. I suppose it is something that all young men struggle with. I tried many things for a long time, but I found that nothing worked. I was frustrated out of my mind and started wondering whether I would ever be free of them.
Then I decided to start praying the Divine Office every day. I did not start praying it specifically to be freed from my sins, but because I needed order and structure in my life. Daily, I felt myself growing in strength. The Divine Office helped me to understand myself and to understand the nature of the occasions of sin. I understood that bad and sinful habits are what the devil uses to keep us trapped. Sometimes, they are things that we do which we don’t even realize are wrong or that the world believes are healthy.
However, I did stop praying the Divine Office several times over the last few months and the temptation reappeared. Sometimes, I fell flat on my face. Indeed, I fell more than I stood up. Yet I have learned to keep going and to keep praying. Sometimes, the only thing that we can do for ourselves is pray.
When making a resolution remember to ask God to help you. No matter what your resolution is you will not be able to accomplish it without some help. Our Lord once told His apostles that without Him, they could do nothing. How true that is! Indeed, we are treading water every day that we don’t pray and give ourselves to Him. Imagine what He can do for your resolutions if you give them to Him this year and leave them in His Sacred Heart! I cannot make promises, but He will help you abundantly.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!