Contributors Learning to love like him

Let your New Year’s resolution bring you closer to Christ

Joshua Ruoff is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan special-needs ministry. He can be reached by email at:

by Joshua Ruoff

When thinking about New Year’s resolutions, many people commit to exercising more and eating healthier.

This is great, but often people try to commit to that because they think it will make them skinnier and more attractive — and therefore, make them more lovable and happier. We lose sight of the fact that we are already loved for who we are.

Going to the gym and eating healthier are good things, but perhaps we need to change our reason for going.

There are multiple physical, mental and spiritual benefits to taking care of our physical bodies. For one, it is shown that 90 minutes of exercise per week drastically decreases our chances of depression.

What if during that 90 minutes of exercise per week, we committed to listening to Catholic or religious music or podcasts to improve our relationship with God? Or what if we prayed while we exercised?

Think of the spiritual benefits to our soul that we could accomplish in a year. I challenge you to find New Year’s resolutions that, at their core, improve your relationship with our Lord. I want to share just a few tips that hopefully will help you in developing and sticking to resolutions.

First, don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, embrace failure and what it can teach you about yourself. Be kind to yourself when you fall short. The mercy of God is endless and that is why we have the sacrament of reconciliation available to us at all times.

Second, be patient with yourself. It is said that it takes up to six weeks to develop a new habit. If you don’t make it even a day with your resolution, don’t let that be a reason to quit. Start over. Resolutions don’t have to start Jan. 1. Every day is a new day to start new.

Lastly, surround yourself with a community that encourages you and prays for you. We are all headed for the same destination and it is our duty to get one another there. Don’t feel pressured into thinking that you have to do anything alone. Ask a trusted party for help. But don’t let those people be too gentle on you when you fall short.

Sometimes, we need to be challenged and shown tough love to motivate us to be better versions of ourselves.

If you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, today is Day One. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Worry about today and find a way today to bring yourself closer to Jesus and to heaven. Let us know how we can support and pray for you at the special-needs ministry by contacting our office.

Happy New Year!

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Joshua Ruoff

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