New Year’s Resolutions and Spiritual Fortitude

God has given us many times in the year when we are encouraged to reflect on our relationship with Him and make the changes necessary for true spiritual growth. Advent and Christmas run into New Year's Day. The end of the old year and the beginning of a new year and a new liturgical year offer us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our lives and our relationship with God and to figure out where we need to change.

So why do we go year to year with no real progress in our spiritual life?

In his book Rediscover Catholicism, Matthew Kelly says . . .

“We don't want to think about our weaknesses. We don't want to talk about them, and we certainly don't want anyone else to point them out. This is a classic sign of mediocrity, and this mediocrity has a firm grip on the Church and humanity at this moment in history.” 

The fact is, most of us are actually comfortable with a mediocre spiritual life. We find the idea of making the real changes necessary to deepen our spiritual life uncomfortable. We tell ourselves that the timing just isn't right for such a massive change. Maybe someday we'll have more time. Then we can focus more on our relationship with God. So we make little tweaks here and there, but for the most part remain mediocre.

In C.S. Lewis' appendix to Screwtape Letters, "Screwtape proposes a toast," the demon Screwtape addresses the "graduating class" of demons with a speech lauding the "Great Lord Below" and his plan to gain more souls for hell. That plan? Encourage mediocrity. Promote the attitude that nobody should stand out in excellence. Promote the concepts of "democracy" and "equality" as the belief that everyone should be the same. Mediocrity, Screwtape says, doesn't gain Hell any great souls like Hitler or Stalin. But it doesn't gain Heaven any great saints either. And because God wants lovers and not mere adherents, it gains many more souls for Hell.

Have we conceded to mediocrity, especially in our spiritual lives?

This is a great time for us to reflect on our lives and to make a decision to strive for excellence.

From the Abbey wants to help you break out of mediocrity and strive for excellence! Our January special promotion can help you do just that!

  • Get a coupon for 20% off Entryway resources

    In From the Abbey's metaphor of "Rebuilding Your Inner Abbey" for rebuilding your spiritual life, the "Entryway" is the room of your Inner Abbey where we make the transition from our daily concerns to time focused on our relationship with Jesus. The Entryway includes resources on Catholic time management and "margin," foundational spiritual habits, living the Sacraments more fully, and understanding how living a life of faith can change your life now! When you register for this month's promotion I'll send you a coupon code that will be keyed to your email address. Just put at least one item from the Entryway into your shopping cart and the coupon will appear at checkout.

  • Free Ebook: Setting Higher Standards

    This ebook is about how we can climb out of spiritual mediocrity and embrace spiritual excellence by setting higher standards for ourselves and putting in place strategies to help us live up to those standards. Get this ebook automatically when you register for this promotion by filling out your name and email above!

  • Free Ebook: Reflections

    This 30-day digital devotional will help you reflect on your life to help you see it through God's eyes. Get this ebook by sharing this page and encouraging 3 people to register!

  • SoftCover

    Free Ebook: Daring to Dare

    This ebook discusses the virtue of spiritual fortitude. What does it mean to be truly daring? What is the role of risk-taking in human life? Why does God call us to be spiritually daring? This ebook explores the concept of healthy risk taking and why being in your spiritual comfort zone is so dangerous! Get this ebook with a $10 purchase in the Bookstore!