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New Year’s Resolutions to Ponder

     As the new year approaches, people’s minds often turn to making resolutions to improve

themselves and their lives. But a lot of them are just the same old same old. For instance,

Deacon Greg Kandra, from the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens in New York, noted on his

blog that a survey showed people’s top resolutions for two years in a row were, “Exercise and

lose weight. Save money. Travel.”

     As an alternative, Deacon Greg suggested making resolutions inspired by Mary, the mother

of Jesus. He wrote: “First, let us resolve to be open to miracles and to listen to angels,

wherever and however we may find them. Let’s be prepared to expect the unexpected - and to

welcome what God brings us as a gift of grace...Resolve to serve, and to do it for others with haste, as Mary served her cousin Elizabeth. Let us resolve to magnify God, so our souls and our lives and everything we are can beautifully and boldly proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let us resolve to live our lives in a way that honors and celebrates His work in the world...In times of anxiety and trial may we, like Mary and Joseph, resolve to still seek Jesus when we fear we have lost Him—and trust that God will help us to find Him.”

     On his Facebook page, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles also shared some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions worth considering. They include:

     “To laugh often, but in amusement, not in derision; to pray often, but with appreciation, not avarice; to lift my eyes from screens and remind myself of the variety, beauty, occasional savagery and sublimity of God’s created world; to try listening without simultaneously preparing a response; to believe that opinions other than my own...deserve the dignity of serious appraisal; to recognize that as a fortunate person, I cannot permit myself the luxury of exhausting my compassion for others; to push myself – and the world – a little closer, in whatever way I am able, toward betterment as I understand God would have it; and to forgive myself and others for the shortcomings in realizing these goals, without abandoning or belittling them.”

     All these resolutions are wonderful ideas because they can renew and refresh our minds, hearts, and souls, and move us closer to fulfilling our natures by living out God’s divine love. This is especially important in a culture in which we are surrounded by anger, negativity, and incivility. As Christians, it is crucial that we model a better way.

     That’s why The Christophers’ founder, Father James Keller, chose as our motto the old proverb, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” There are enough “darkness cursers” in the world. We need more “candle lighters!” And Father Keller knew that each of us has the power to be a light in the darkness. 

     He wrote, “The leavening of the multitude with Christian ideals can be done in the same simple way it was by the early Christians. The one power that accounted for their tremendous success was their consuming love for all men, even their worst enemies, in each of whom they saw the image of Christ Himself. It is a power which the least of us can have. It is the cure for which mankind longs.”

All of us at The Christophers wish you a happy and blessed 2020. May you be more open to both giving and receiving the love of God. 


For free copies of the Christopher News Note TAKE TIME OUT: A SERIES OF MEDITATIONS, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail:

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