I don’t really like New Year’s Resolutions. Well, that’s not entirely true. I think what I don’t like is the idea that the time for making resolutions is once a year. When I think of making a resolution for a whole year, I am paralyzed, as I have very little idea what the future holds and am afraid that I will fail. Then there is the inevitable discouragement of failing in a resolution or the temptation, once off the bandwagon, to let things slide until the next resolution-making holiday.
With our children we still say the prayer that I said as a child: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Each night, we sink into sleep, however briefly, and each morning is a new dawn. The time for examining oneself and for making resolutions? St Josemaria calls it a daily task, “If you are really fighting, you need to make an examination of conscience…It is the same as when you look at yourself in the mirror to know where you have hurt yourself or where the dirt is or where your blemishes are, so that you can get rid of them.”
A few moments spent at the end of the day asking ourselves, What did I do well today? How have I loved our Lord? How have I failed? In what little thing will I struggle to do better tomorrow? Smiling at others? Being patient? And then, recognizing those things I have to be sorry for, that, once again, I return like the prodigal son, I can make a sincere act of contrition and sleep knowing that tomorrow we will begin again.