Happy New Year!!! Liturgical New Year that is! This weekend is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the start of the Church’s new liturgical year. Just like the start of a new calendar year inspires us to take a little time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new year, we can use the start of a new liturgical year to take time to reflect on our spiritual life. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the growth that we made in the last year and to look ahead to the new year with hope. Taking time to celebrate and reflect can be a great reminder of the journey we are on to sainthood!
Last year was our first time celebrating the Liturgical New Year and it was so easy. If you have a stock of decorations and party supplies for New Year’s Eve pull it out and get festive. I raided our tub and pulled out some napkins, plates and party hats. You can grab some free printables for your celebration below! Then we celebrated with a hot breakfast before Mass. I don’t usually make breakfast before Mass, so this was a treat. This year I plan to make a batch of brownies to enjoy and celebrate after dinner Saturday evening. I am hoping that celebrating the night before will allow us to have more conversation and reflection together. As always make it work for your family! If Sunday mornings are hectic, try Saturday evening, Sunday evening or evening a weekday!
Even if you choose not to do a celebration taking a little time in reflection can be so fruitful. This year my friends and I decided that we would each choose a virtue for the year. We are going to focus on growing in our particular virtue throughout the year through prayer, reading and reflection. I certainly could use an increase in all virtues, but I’m hopeful by zeroing on one I will be able to truly grow in the virtue. I’m excited to be able to share and encourage each other throughout the year. If you would like to join in and pick a virtue check out THIS article on growing in virtue and grab my free virtue page at the bottom of the post!
Another great option would be to adopt a new habit like more consistent prayer, reading spiritual books or learning about the Saints. Two habits that have proven fruitful for me over the last couple of years have been daily rosaries and frequent confession. I got into the habit of daily rosaries using THESE daily rosary meditations. I started going to confession monthly when I started trying to complete the First Saturday devotion. I have yet to complete the devotion, but the habit of more frequent confession has still helped foster growth!
The other thing that has been so impactful on my life has been my friendships with other women of faith. Sharing, encouraging and praying for each other has been such a blessing in my life. Ever noticed that Saints were friends with other Saints??? This journey is made easier with the support of others! If you are looking for faith filled friendships seek them out this year. Pray the Lord will help you find other women to connect with, join a small group or invite a friend to pray a novena or do a book study.
What habits and devotions have been beneficial for you? I’d love to hear! And I pray your new year bring you closer to Christ!