The year 2016 is upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. As you’re choosing your new fitness program and life style improvements don’t forget to include a spiritual component to your New Year’s checklist. After all, there is nothing more important than your spiritual well-being. Below you’ll find some suggestions to help you get spiritually fit in 2016. I recommend you choose one of the following suggestions and stick with it. Don’t try to do too much – biting off more than you can chew is one of the common mishaps of New Year’s resolutions. If you take on too much you’re more likely to become overwhelmed and abandon your resolution all together. So keep it simple in the beginning and add more to your routine once you’ve mastered your chosen resolution.
1. Pray 15 Minutes a Day
There is nothing more important than your prayer life. If you want to know God and be in relationship with Him you have to pray. It’s as simple as that. I recommend praying 15 minutes a day at the very least. If you can’t pray for 15 minutes in one sitting feel free to break up the time into smaller segments. Perhaps 7 minutes in the morning and 7 in the evening. Once you’ve mastered this you can add more time to your routine.
If you’re new to prayer and don’t know how to begin, you can start with one of these options:
- Liturgy of the Hours – Universalis has everything you need to get started.
- Lectio Divina – Holy reading of Sacred Scripture
2. Spiritual Reading
St. Josemaria Escriva once said, “Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.” Outside of prayer, nothing has helped me grow in my Catholic faith more than reading. You too can grow in your faith and understanding of Christ by simply picking up a good spiritual book. I recommend reading at least 15 minutes a day. This can serve as a great primer for your prayer life, because spiritual reading is always meant to lead you to prayer. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
No book is more important than Sacred Scripture. If you’re feeling ambitious you might consider reading the entire Bible in 2016. This can be done with a little determination and a strategic plan. Brandon Vogt has developed a wonderful itinerary for reading the entire Bible in one year that can be found here.
The Way of the Disciple by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis
This is one of my favorite books of all-time. Leiva-Merikakis provides a number of excellent reflections on the life of our Lord that are worth reading multiple times.
Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Therese is a doctor of the Church for a reason. If you haven’t read her autobiography, put it on the top of your list. It will change your life.
You can find more book recommendations on our Resource page.
3. Daily Mass
If you’re looking to supercharge your spiritual life go to daily Mass. At Mass you’ll participate in the highest form of prayer in the Catholic Church. If you go to daily Mass you’ll receive Jesus in the Eucharist, hear the Scriptures, and pray for about 30 minutes. That’s not a bad way to start each day.
4. Improve Your Catholic Education On the Go
We live in a busy world but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow in our faith while we’re moving from activity to activity. Podcasts are a great resource for anyone with a hectic schedule. You can listen while you’re commuting to work, exercising, cleaning the house, or walking the dog. With this great technology, you can educate yourself on Catholic matters wherever and whenever you want. Here are some of my favorite Catholic podcasts:
Hosted by Bishop Robert Barron and Brandon Vogt.
A truly entertaining podcast packed full of humor.
Marshall explores all sorts of Catholic topics guaranteed to pique your interest.
I love Fr. Nelson’s homilies. They’re short, refreshing, and insightful.
5. Subscribe to The Campion
Our blog is meant to be a vehicle of evangelization. If you want to continue to grow in your faith and need extra encouragement, subscribe to The Campion. We will provide you with relevant content to help you become spiritually fit in 2016. Click here to subscribe.
Remember, don’t try to do too much. Choose one of the suggestions I’ve provided and stick with it. As you begin to grow in your faith consider adding more to your routine. I hope 2016 proves to be a wonderful year of spiritual growth for you.
Do you have any other suggestions to help people grow spiritually fit in 2016? Let us know in the comments.