Whether you’ve used Jen Fulwiler’s saint generator or word of the year generator or conquered a feat like Father Mike Schmitz’s Catechism in a Year or Bible in a Year, there’s no shortage of spiritual commitments to be made in the new year. They tend to pop up on social media and can be handy springboards, launching us into the new year with greater fervor, devotion and love for the Lord and our faith.
This year, as the Church in America finds itself in the midst of a National Eucharistic Revival, in addition to the spiritual New Year commitments that are already out there, it is a more fitting time than ever to consider making a New Year’s resolution that is centered on the mystery of Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist. After all, revival doesn’t actually take place if we don’t open our hearts to the work the Lord wants to do! Allow Jesus to begin revival in your own heart by committing to being transformed in his presence. Here are a few resolutions you might consider:
1. Go to Daily Mass once/week or month
Resolutions to go to the gym 3x a week might be cliche and overdone, but we can’t deny the popularity of making a commitment like that at the beginning of the year. Those types of commitments are popular because they work. When you commit to developing a habit of going somewhere and doing something for your own good, you begin to see changes in other parts of your life.
While regular exercise might help you feel more energized and strong throughout your week, attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist more frequently can help us grow in our strength to resist temptation, to better love God and neighbor and to become saints!
2. Make a weekly or monthly Holy Hour in Adoration at your parish
Similar to receiving the Eucharist more regularly, spending time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will only make us better in other areas of our lives. St. Teresa of Calcutta is often remembered for saying, “I know I would not be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (during my Holy Hour of Adoration).” If she depended on Jesus in the Eucharist to do her work, I’m betting on the fact that we all do!
If you don’t already know, find out when your parish offers Eucharistic Adoration or sign up for a Holy Hour if your parish has perpetual Adoration. Select a time that you can keep reserved weekly or monthly and commit to spending that time with Jesus, sharing your heart with him and allowing him to transform you.
3. Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament before/after Sunday Mass
Now, as great as it would be for all of us to make a daily Holy Hour like Mother Teresa, God has not called all of us to the same state of life she lived. If where you’re at currently doesn’t allow for you to commit to a regular hour of Adoration, consider resolving to spend 10 extra minutes with Jesus before or after Mass. Though we can’t see the host housed in the tabernacle, we have confidence in the unending presence of Jesus in the Eucharist at any parish. Use this more brief period of time to either prepare to receive him, or to thank him for his presence…or both!
4. Share Adoration with a friend(s)
The gift of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist is too good not to share! Maybe in this new year, the Lord is asking you to invite someone into a relationship with him through his eucharistic presence. If there is anyone God has placed on your heart to invite into a relationship with him, commit to praying for them and making an invitation to join you at Adoration. This can be a peaceful, non-confrontational way to share your relationship with Jesus with someone you love!
5. Pray for a specific intention every time you find yourself before the Eucharist
If intercessory prayer is powerful, then intercessory prayer before the Eucharist is super powerful. In this new year, is there someone or something you want to bring before our eucharistic Lord every time you see him? Consider what that might be and write it down, and each time you encounter Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, offer a heartfelt prayer for that intention.
6. Share your testimony
Finally, maybe this is the year the Lord is asking you to glorify him by telling your story. If you have a devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist, at some point or another — or over an extended period of time — you encountered him in a way that changed you. Maybe this is the year you resolve to share that encounter with others. Maybe that looks like sharing it with your family members or a close friend. Maybe it’s sharing it for a small group at a parish event. Or maybe it’s sharing it in a more public way, like on social media or through I AM HERE.
Whatever it looks like, in this new year, as we lean into the revival the Lord is doing, open your heart to that work. Make yourself open to him, and trust that time in his presence is never wasted! Happy New Year!