January 6, 2013 by eneubauer
This New Year will bring about my five-year anniversary – coming home to the Catholic Church. I remain inspired and excited about the faith that has brought wholeness and unity to my spiritual life and that of my immediate family. As I have stated before, this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I look forward to serving Christ and His Church in 2013 and beyond. This is how I intend to keep my fire burning.
I have themed this year the year to finish what I have been afraid to do, what I have left undone or been unwilling to do. This is my year to finish things that I have started, intended or been inspired to do. I desire to find myself lingering in the Will of God – so here is my plan.
What I suffer from more often than not is inconsistency in my spiritual life. With all the distractions in our hyper connected world and with voices abounding at every turn I seek to simplify. I commit to consistency in my spiritual rhythm (each day) that I may hear more clearly, deepen my understand of God’s call and further develop the inner man. One could say I desire to become more like Jesus as exemplified by my patron Seraphin of Montegranaro. I seek to be consistent in prayer, participation in the faith, knowledge acquisition, and action. May God have Mercy!
Elimination of Distractions:
In order to become more consistent I am seeking to eliminate distractions in my life. I was reminded while studying the history of Advent and Lent that removing those things which distract or dissuade me from becoming the man I have always dreamed of being are essential for my spiritual development. There are so many things that I am inspired towards or intend on doing in this New Year that I have come to realize – I cannot afford to fail. Therefore I will be making some hard choices as to what is really important. Evaluating carefully what deserves my full attention and time each day. Therefore, I will be taking the necessary steps to return to the basics which include the elimination of distractions, the embrace of healthy choices (mind-body), and a commitment to fasting in this Year of Faith (development). May God have Mercy!
Sitting At the Master’s Feet:
I am also making some choices to develop my personal, intellectual capacity through a commitment to “sit at the Master’s feet.” What do I mean by this? I intend to study with greater purpose sacred scripture, church history and the life of St. Francis of Assisi. I also commit myself, at the direction of my spiritual director, to incorporate fiction / fun reading into my rhythm as well as a study of great authors who write on a variety of subjects. Generally speaking – I intend to pursue a 2013 that is quiet, reflective / introspective and filled with true intellectual stimulation. May God have Mercy!
In addition, in my public life, I hope to find myself working more closely with others to get “the job / project” done. I love the idea of collaboration and the sharing of ideas among equals in order to harness the best of the whole. However, I am also experienced enough to realize that collaboration only works if I purposefully / intentionally embrace the process and allow others to tackle that which they were created to do. Often I find myself finishing a task because, “it’s just easier if I do it myself.” This may work in the short run but will not allow for an individual to grow beyond their own capacity to do a thing or complete a project. I will seek to embrace a more collaborative approach to my work and home life. May God have Mercy!
I love to encourage others! I make the special effort to encourage those I work with whether they are volunteers or paid staff. Embracing a spirit of, “thanks” is the appropriate model for life in community with others. However, those we are in closest proximity to are often the last to hear thank you and often the least encouraged by our presence. I seek to change this. As an example my wife of 17 years is a wonderful artist in the world of mixed-media and found-object sculpture. I dedicate this year to encouraging her pursuit of art, the development of new projects and her abilities. At the end of this year I pray that she is truly encouraged by my presence, support and action. She has spent many years encouraging and inspiring me – it’s time to pay it forward.
May 2013 find you growing closer to Christ and the Catholic Church in whatever way the Lord wills it to be done.