Every January 1, millions of people make resolutions for the coming year--and, before the month is out, most will have broken them. Still, the impulse is a good one: As Christians, we know that we are far from perfect, and anything that helps us become a better person is worthwhile.
The First Sunday of Advent marks the start of a different New Year--the liturgical year of the Catholic Church. It's appropriate, then, that Advent is a season of preparation, prayer, and penance. What better way to begin our journey through the yearly history of salvation than by calling to mind the ways in which we have fallen short of the Christian ideal, and resolving to amend our lives?
This year, as we prepare ourselves for Christmas, why not live this "little Lent" to the fullest by making a liturgical New Year's resolution you can stick with? Adopt an Advent practice--the Advent wreath, perhaps, or daily scripture readings--and take part in it every day. It takes less effort than dieting--the most popular secular New Year's resolution--and the spiritual benefits are incalculable.