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As we forge on through January, the New Year is like a fresh book with 365 (less than that now) blank sheets of paper. A beautiful volume, with gilded papers and pastel-painted flowers (or butterflies) running across each page….a book just waiting to have its lines filled.

These sheets have possibilities…incredible possibilities that, when filled with worthy and noble, sincere and optimistic ideals, can result in a growing of character, an increasing of knowledge and a deepening of faith.

What will we write on each of our pages this year?

What are the things that will help us to grow in our vocation this year? What decisions do we have to make in order to become a better woman, wife and mother? These are the things we want to write in our 2017 manuscript. They don’t have to be big pronouncements….not at all. In fact, it is those small things, repeated every day that will make the difference at the end of the year.

Aristotle says, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

3 Suggestions to Help us Inscribe Worthily in Our Books This Year:

Number 1. Let’s  make a decision to read good books on how to become a better woman within our vocation. Positive books…. about attitude, or relationship, or about self-sacrifice. Each day let us read something that refreshes us and gives us perspective, which holds back the poison of self-pity. We all struggle; we just need an attitude shift a lot of the time. (This is where this website can come in very handy!) 🙂 And here is the link to my Book List.

At the same time, let us not forget that we can get information out of books and magazines, we can get knowledge out of a good website, but wisdom is from God and we must ask for it!

Number 2. Can we  go to daily Mass more? There is nothing more powerful, more healing, more problem-solving than attending Mass and receiving Our Lord. He IS the problem-solver!

Do we want more peace, more joy, more love in our hearts? Let’s go to Mass, there to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Do we want our  longings to be fulfilled? Let’s make our way to Mass! Remember when you do, you may not see the results right away, and certainly you may not feel them, but they will be there….and you will notice.

We may not be able to make it to Mass. I know what it was like raising a large family. Then let’s  take the time to make a Spiritual Communion, more than once a day! It is very efficacious and gives much grace!

St. Thomas Aquinas once defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”

You can “turn toward the holy tabernacle” and receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night!

Here is a Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Number 3. We don’t need to add prayers if we already have a spiritual regime set in place, but we need to be more solicitous in saying the prayers we already say well. Let’s eliminate distractions, if we can….and then patiently embrace those distractions that we can’t eliminate. We must just keep trying to authentically lift our hearts to God as we say our prayers. God sees our efforts!

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Will there be  things this year that we find bigger than we can control? Will we have problems that are too much for us?

These will be the very opportunities to rely on Him who will come and more than meet us half-way. A faith of a mustard seed….that is all we need. Let us ask God for it…every day this year! Do we realize the peace we would have if we truly believed!? Well, then let’s ask for it!

We can only live our life one day at a time. Things may happen to us this year that are so painful or confusing that we need to just live one hour at a time, maybe one minute, reminding ourselves that God sees everything, that He loves us and that He is the answer. And as my mom has reminded me, “All things are passing….”

I will lean on Him this year more than ever! I will ask to be guided through each hour of each day. I will bring every problem  to Him for He will show me the way to go.

And I will remember this powerful Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” Amen!

By the end of the year, when we pick up our 2017 volume which will be filled, will we shudder with regrets…..or sigh with humble satisfaction? It’s up to us.

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“Out of these many traits let us together choose the ideal woman. First of all, she should be earnest and sincere. Our truly ideal woman will not be silly or frivolous, nor will she be guilty of actions that appear vulgar or unwomanly. She must always have a kind word for others—not a person who will unjustly criticize behind your back. Her clothes are womanly and becoming. She will be known for the beauty of her character rather than the richness of her clothing or ornaments.” – Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood, 1922

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