January 01, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Gentle Reader: Blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to All!

I stink at New Year's resolutions. Most of the time, I don't bother. The few times I do bother I usually fail at enacting them. For a resolution to be truly sucessful requires: planning and fortitude-2 areas I lack when it comes to me personally. I can plan a project and see it thru, I can plan a trip, I can plan a dinner party, but making some kind of plan for my life is difficult for me.

I just stopped myself. As a Christian, the one plan for my life had better be "I plan to get to Heaven". The alternative is not pleasant.

However, even to reach that, truly, lofty goal, I better have a plan. I better have resolve and fortitude or I will not make it.

The typical New Year's resolutions: I resolve to lose weight, I resolve to be nice to my brother, I resolve to budget better are lame compared to what is at stake to reach the Christian goal. Now, obviously, if obsession with food, hatred of your brother and money have crossed a line into occasions of sin for you then those are solid resolutions. However, in my experience, most people I know don't think of a New Year's resolution as something that could bring us closer to God; they are usually opportunities for selfish personal improvement and popularity.

The best New Year's resolution is all of the above: popularity, personal improvement and bringing you closer to God.

I have discovered that popularity does not always bring one closer to God. Who are my friends? Who do I associate with? I'm not as popular, since my reversion, in certain circles. I've lost friends. I'm not "cool" anymore.

I had an invitation this weekend to go with a friend for a weekend in northwestern Minnesota. I knew as soon as she asked me what this would mean: eating, drinking, smoking, gluttony, overindulgence, selfishiness, profanity. I knew I wouldn't go to Mass. I knew I'd probably be drunk and stoned all weekend. I knew I'd deny Him. These are not good behaviors. They are sinful.

Still, I was tempted. I'm starting to think I'm boring and too domestic and just plain dull. I thought seriously about going. I enjoy a drink and a party, in moderation, as well as anyone else. However, for me, uh, moderation in anything is not my strong suit. I'm very over the top. When I indulge it's over. When I laugh it's too loud. When I sin I sin big time.

I shocked even myself and said "No". Not only did I say no, for one of the few times in my life, I actually evangelized and said "I need to go to Mass twice this weekend. Thanks, but no thanks" Who said that? I don't even think it was me.

I hope I'm not sounding smug because I don't feel smug. I know full well that this was an isolated instance. I can not be complacent. I know for every one time I stand up and do the right thing, there are 20 other instances where I fall on my face-spectacularly.

I think one day the Father is going to quit looking for the Prodigal Son and say when he shows up again "Sleep in the barn this time and be out by morning!" I can only hope and pray that the Lord will truly forgive an endless amount or I'm in deep trouble.

There is not just one day or just one time. Isn't every day a New Year? You can put on the new man any time.

My resolution, for this day, this new year, is to quit being a damned fool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. You're not alone in this!

January 01, 2011 4:28 AM  
Blogger Adoro said...

I still think you're cool.

January 01, 2011 7:36 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Here and my New Year's Resolution was going to be "stop putting Cathy on a pedestal". So much for that one!

You're still cool, and you're still my hero.


January 01, 2011 8:54 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I think that is one of the devil's best temptations - to make us feel 'out of it' - a social outsider as it were. Constantly telling us that the world is passing us by... yet, "the world and its enticement are passing away." 1 Jn. 2

Nope - you sure aren't alone in this!

January 01, 2011 10:21 AM  
Blogger belinda said...

Aww, Cathy, I gave up on not being a damned fool two lents ago but it didn't "Take"

We return back to our God as damned fools and I've come to accept that but even so, I try to stay as "Clean"(from confesion)as possible because chest pains and crappy drivers happen. I'd like to stop these bahaviors in the first place so there IS nothing for me to confess but I understand that's not going to happen, as I consider how many sins I've actually beaten. AND if I should make a little progress in one area then another sin steps in to fill it's place.

BTW, I did all of the above during the Christmas break except I did the stoned part differently - I threw them and the only thing smokin' was my kids train, I replaced alcohol with ice cream and so I nailed gluttony. Did you lose your temper in a clothing store with a teen and say a cuss word in public too?! - I still feel like crying. I know I will cry during confession today. I feel miserable about these things.
Seriously, I'm not worth forgiving because I know better.

January 01, 2011 10:52 AM  
Blogger belinda said...

BTW Cathy, did you consider what an awesome accomplishment it was that you told her no in the first place? You didn't participate in these sins when she invited you to. Doesn't that make you victorious over those sins - at least for the moment?

January 01, 2011 11:01 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Awwww...you guys..{{{{group hug}}}}

Belinda: Saying "no" can be a victory over sin. Yes. "chest pain and crappy drivers"-lol

January 01, 2011 12:23 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

Happy New Years Cathy!!!!! I have nothing clever or witty to offer in the combox - everyone else got the good lines already! Just know you have my friendship and my prayers!

January 01, 2011 1:19 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thank you Angela! Your friendship and prayers are very meaningful to me. Be assured of mine for you.

January 01, 2011 6:15 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Happy New Years, Cathy - I know what you're talking about. Resolutions are for procrastinators.

January 01, 2011 7:47 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Larry is mental.

January 01, 2011 8:36 PM  
Blogger Georgette said...

What a good girl you are, Cathy. Honest! Happy New Year, hon...may this year be your best one yet!

Lots of love and prayers,

January 01, 2011 10:22 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Terry: Now, play nice with Larry!

Thanks, Gette!

January 02, 2011 7:34 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Terry - I know you are, but what am I?

January 02, 2011 7:58 PM  

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