Tuesday, December 27, 2011

5 things you should stop doing in 2012

I am loathe to jump on the end of the year band wagon, but this IS a good time to take stock of where we're at in our spiritual lives.  With that, 5 things you should stop doing in 2012.

1.  Stop spiritual practices that don't work for you.  The Rosary is a lovely, wonderful meditation.  It doesn't work for everyone.  Lectio Divina is awesome - if it helps you develop spiritually.  Listening to Gregorian chant - uplifting!  But not for everybody.  If you've been struggling to do something because you think you SHOULD, but it doesn't work for your life-style, personality, spiritual life...then stop.  Do what works.

2.  Stop putting off the Sacrament of Confession.  Make it a regular part of your life.  Regular.  As in, at least once a month.

3.  Stop zoning out at Mass.  The new translation seems to be helping us be attentive, but we all have the tendency to "zone out" during the Mass.  Really practice being attentive - get a missal, follow along.  Work hard at praying the liturgy.

4.  Stop being judgmental of others' spiritual practices.  Angry that your sister hasn't been to Mass in months?  Pray for her.  Can't get over the fact that your son married a Lutheran girl?  Pray for them.  That lady in front of you at Mass that hauls out all the toys for her kid to play with during the liturgy?  Pray for her.  When you catch yourself having a judgmental thought, pray for the person instead.  And then pray for humility for yourself.

5.  Stop letting yourself off the hook.  It is so easy to say,  "Oh, I'm a good person.  I go to Mass every week" or "Hey, I pray more than most people".  It's still not enough.  Having an active, holy spiritual life is rigorous - you can't "let up".  You're training for the Eternal Olympics, and you want the gold!  When you catch yourself slipping, it's time to dig a little deeper, pray a little harder, ponder Christ on the Cross a bit longer.  Don't allow yourself to think "good enough" when it comes to being a Christian.  You can rest when you get to Heaven.

4 comments:

  1. oooo... this was good. Glad Tito linked to you from The Pulpit.
    And about that lady in front of you at Mass with all the toys - I really am trying. Really. Maybe you could offer to hold my baby - that would be helpful, too.

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  2. I had five kids under the age of five at one point. If you've kids, you WANT to sit next to/in front of me. I can tolerate ANYthing!!

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  3. The Rosary is recommended by the Blessed Virgin herself for everyone because it can work for everyone. If it doesn't work for a person, then perhaps that person has to make some changes in himself, not stop praying the Rosary.

    Lectio divina, too, can work for anyone able and willing to follow the steps of praying with Scripture. Again, if it is not working for a person, perhaps what he needs to do is take things slowly and/or seek spiritual direction on prayer rather than stop.

    Pragmatism shouldn't be the rule in following devotions, otherwise there will be a dearth of sacrifice in the spiritual life.

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  4. A reasoned rebuttal, Mr. Baguia! Thank you. However, there is nothing in Church teaching that says one MUST pray the Rosary to be a good Catholic, and some people struggle so mightily with it that it actually leaves them feeling defeated spiritually.

    Another good reason to seek out solid spiritual direction!

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