… A lot of people put great stock into making resolutions each New Year. They promises to improve on some virtue or remove some vice. The ultimate goal is a better version of our current selves. Admirable yes, but why wait till the end of the year to propose such changes? Look at it like this; New Year’s is like one big examination of conscience and our resolutions are acts of contrition.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Every time a Catholic makes their way into the confessional they celebrate a new year. Neat how that works. What’s perfect about the act of contrition as opposed to generic New Year’s resolutions is that we, Catholics, recognize the need for helping grace from God in order to sin no more and avoid occasion of sin. A new year’s resolution, on the other hand, is solely dependent on our own will power and determination to see it through. Who are you going to trust to see that the job gets done?
Also, when a Catholic steps into a confessional they are pretty accepting of the fact that in a few months time, sooner for some us, they’ll be right back in there on their knees professing with the same resolve. New Year’s resolutions put entirely too much pressure on us when compared to the frequent use of the sacrament of reconciliation. If you’re like most, by the end of February you’ve already failed at your resolutions. Do you wait till the next new year to try again? Probably yes. But what about in the meantime?
The sacrament of reconciliation is readily available to us throughout the whole year, to take advantage of as many times as needed. If you mess up, so what? Confess it and get yourself straight again. Then go back out into the world and try a little harder next time. Confession is the quiet New Years. The humble, unassuming New Years. The perfect New Years where we recognize our genuine human limitations and acknowledge that without God’s help we’ll never be better versions of ourselves.
If you’re going to celebrate anything over the next few days, celebrate the saving sacrament of confession by making frequent use of it.