My latest in Our Sunday Visitor:
If you absolutely love 2020 and don’t want it to end, you can stop reading right now.
Everyone else, pull up a chair. Let’s talk.
Has this year been awful, or what?
We’ve been locked down, locked up, locked out. We’ve learned to recognize people from their eyebrows wiggling above their masks. It’s the year when “zoom” became a verb and the most familiar abbreviation in America became WFH. (It took me a while to figure that one out: Working From Home. For the longest time, I thought for sure it was an obscenity with a typo.)
Brian Stelter, the media reporter for CNN, described this as the year of the line: lines to buy toilet paper, lines to vote, lines of protesters, lines to get takeout from a restaurant, lines to get food at pantries, lines to get tested for COVID … the list (and the lines) never seems to end.
But this much is certain: Depending on when you’re reading this, 2020 is either over or it will end soon. And for some of us, it couldn’t end soon enough.
So, what are we going to do about it?
Perhaps more to the point: What are we Catholics going to do with 2021? How can we take the experience of this past year and use it to remake our lives and refocus our faith?
Many of us like to make resolutions for a new year. But frankly, after the year we’ve all endured, I think we need more than a resolution; we need a revolution. A complete overhaul. A reboot. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s this: The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.
For us Catholics, this means learning from the year that’s ending and seeing it not just through the rearview mirror, but refracted through the lens of faith. A new year offers us more than a fresh start. After 2020, it can be an opportunity for conversion of heart — to take what we have experienced and resolve to grow more deeply as people of faith.
Losing weight and exercising are great — good luck with that diet! — but how about exercising our spiritual muscles?
This is a moment to resolve to get our faith in shape — to live more prayerfully, more gratefully, more thoughtfully, more hopefully.
How can we do that? Here are a few ideas and suggestions for helping to step out of the seemingly endless lines of 2020 so we can chart a new path for 2021. You don’t have to tackle them all; try one or two. You might be surprised at what happens. Our God is the God of astonishment and miracles.
Read my list of 10 resolutions for Catholics. And have a happy, healthy 2021!