Near Year Resolution

Mon, 01/01/2007

By Jane Remson, O.Carm. The important thing is not to make many resolutions but just one. As we begin a new year many of us will make New Year resolutions. All too often these resolutions fill us with good intentions and nothing more. More often than not our New Year resolutions revolve around health and wealth – I am not going to smoke, I am going on a diet, I am not going to over spend, but stay within my budget, etc… In making a resolution for 2007 it might be a good idea to spend a few minutes reviewing one’s actions of 2006. Rather than reviewing all of one’s actions just review those that can be reflected upon in light of the following: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me. Then the just will ask; ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you drink?’ …The Lord will answer; ‘I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least, you did it for me.’” (Matt 25:35-39) After reviewing, select only the action that you know directly benefited someone; for example, you donated food to a local food bank, you went grocery shopping for someone that was unable to shop for him/herself or perhaps you prevented a family from becoming homeless by helping them pay their rent. Whatever your action, resolve to improve on that action for 2007. Suppose your action was helping a needy family pay their rent, you might resolve that you will continue your help and in addition you will learn more about homelessness in the U.S. and especially in Louisiana and you will involve your children, grandchildren or students in learning about and preventing families from becoming homeless. Or you will make greater personal sacrifices in order to help an additional needy family pay their rent. The important thing is not to make many resolutions but just one that you can keep, and one that will be beneficial to others. GRATITUDE AND THANKFULNESS MUST ALWAYS BE PART OF ONE’S RESOLUTION Whatever your choice you should resolve that each day your resolution will occupy a central place in your daily prayer. Each day you will spend a short time in prayer and meditation on you choice; for example, your choice of helping with rent you may select the scripture passage of the holy family’s flight into Egypt (Matt 2:13-18). You may want to meditate upon the needs of a family as they relocated to another neighborhood or from another city and how you can help make their relocation easier. If your choice was that you donated food to a local food bank you may want to spend time meditating on the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Matt 14:15-20) and how you can participate in this miracle today. Gratitude and thankfulness must always be part of one’s resolution. The members of the early Christian communities were recognized by their love for one another and the joy in which they took care of one another’s needs (Acts 4:33-35). As advocates for the hungry we should automatically have as a resolution to communicate with our elected officials regarding our hungry sisters and brothers. Monthly over 300 in metro New Orleans receives Bread for the World in Louisiana. What a powerful impact we can make if each month each one of us writes a single letter to our congressperson. It takes dedication and commitment to do this each month, but the invitation has been issued by Isaiah – “They will be called oaks of justice, planted by the Lord.” (Is. 61:3). The late Senator Paul Simon wrote, “That anyone who writes a letter on behalf of the hungry is sure to save a life.” What better resolution can one make than to help save lives.