New Year’s resolutions are much maligned nowadays. Some people feel that they’re a waste of time. I think it’s admirable that people want to accomplish something positive, turn over a new leaf, and become a better version of themselves. So why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?
I can only speak for myself. My resolutions often fail for two reasons: I think I can do it on my own and I think it can be “once and done” instead of ongoing. As for thinking that I can accomplish my resolutions on my own, I tend to forget one tiny little detail: I can do nothing without God! In her book, Simple Acts of Moving Forward: A Little Book About Getting Unstuck, Vinita Hampton Wright reminds us that “Sooner or later God figures in.” Personally, I prefer sooner rather than later. Ultimately, that’s why I go to Mass on Sunday and receive the Eucharist – it’s my way of admitting repeatedly that, at my deepest level, I am incapable of sustaining myself: “but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” People in twelve-step programs know this well: change can only come with reliance on a higher power.
As for thinking that this can be “once and done,” I too often forget that Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Not “take up his cross once” or “take up his cross for a little while” but “take up his cross daily.” At first that may sound like a downer, but when we realize that following Jesus doesn’t end with the cross but with Resurrection and new life, we can find the patience, endurance, and determination to remain committed to our goals even in the face of hardship.
And so, have a happy new year. And with the help of God’s grace, may we resolve each day of the new year to become the people God knows we can be.
Books by Joe Paprocki, D.Min.
The RCIA Kit
Prepare your candidates and equip sponsors and catechists for the journey toward Christian initiation. Kit includes: Living the Sacraments, Practice Makes Catholic, and A Well-Built Faith by Joe Paprocki.
The RCIA Family Kit
Prepare your candidates and their families as you equip sponsors and catechists for the journey toward Christian initiation. Kit includes: Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols by Amy Welborn, as well as Living the Sacraments, Practice Makes Catholic, and A Well-Built Faith by Joe Paprocki.
Called by Name
Preparing Yourself for the Vocation of Catechetical Leader
This book focuses on what catechetical leaders need to be, as opposed to what they need to know or do, if they are to lead effectively.
Llamados por nuestro nombre
Prepararse para la vocación de líder catequético
El libro Llamados por nuestro nombre se centra en la vocación del líder catequético y en lo que el líder catequético necesita ser, en contraste con lo que este necesita saber o hacer.
A Church on the Move
52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
52 specific, practical, and achievable strategies to help Catholic parishes embody the broad themes of Pope Francis’ papacy—mission, mercy, and evangelization.
Living the Mass
How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life
In Living the Mass, Joe Paprocki, DMin, and Fr. Dominic Grassi convincingly show how the one hour spent at Mass on Sunday can truly transform the other 167 hours of the week.
Vivir la misa
Cómo una hora a la semana puede cambiar tu vida
Explica detallademente cómo cada parte de la misa se relaciona con la llamada que recibimos en el bautismo, poniendo en estrecha relación la misa dominical y el resto de nuestra semana.
Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox
Catechesis That Not Only Informs but Also Transforms
Free Leader Guide Available for Download. Joe Paprocki, best-selling author of The Catechist’s Toolbox series, has written the first, step-by-step book that demonstrates how to teach a 75-minute catechetical session with practical techniques that expand upon the textbook to create a more prayerful climate in the classroom.
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista
Catequesis que no solo informa, sino que también transforma
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista le permite a los jóvenes encontrar a Jesús en la oración de manera que puedan convertirse en discípulos de Cristo para toda la vida.
La mochila del catequista
Lo indispensable para el camino espiritual
La mochila del catequist brinda a los catequistas recursos que atienden a la dimensión espiritual de su llamado a compartir la fe católica.
A Well-Built Faith
A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe
Free Leader Guide Available for Download. In A Well-Built Faith, Joe Paprocki makes it easy for Catholics to feel confident in teaching the Catholic faith. He makes complex teachings of the Catholic faith accessible to average Catholics without compromising Catholic teaching and tradition.
Una fe bien construida
Guia catolica para conocer y compartir lo que creemos
Guía de líder disponible. Una fe bien construida,—desarrollado con enorme creatividad usando metafóricamente el tema de la construcción— facilita enormemente a los católicos el conocimiento de su fe y les da seguridad al momento de compartirla.