Happy New Year!  No – I haven’t mis-scheduled a blog post. On the first Sunday of Advent, the Church marks the first day of a new Liturgical year.  As with the celebration of the new calendar year each January, the new Church year is a time of new beginnings, of fresh starts, and of renewed purpose. It is with good reason that the church chooses a penitential season to begin each new year. Advent, contrary to what every blaring cyber-Monday commercial and glittering fully-decorated Christmas trees at the local Mall would have you believe, is a season of interior preparation, not merely for the infant Jesus’ birth into history which we celebrate on Christmas, but for the Lord’s second coming in glory and for our own personal judgment which comes at our deaths. Like the other penitential season in the Church’s calendar – Lent, it is a time of interior purification and renewal – preparing our hearts and souls to more fully live in union with God in this life in order to enjoy eternal happiness with him in the next. What better way to start off a New Year!Here are seven ideas for New (Liturgical) Year’s resolutions: 1. Go to Daily Mass one extra day per week. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting Lumen Gentium, describes the Eucharist as “the source and suumit of the Christian life” and states that “the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.” If you are not already a Daily Mass attendee, resolve to attend just one more Mass each week.2. Add a new prayer to your prayer routine.  For me, this year, I am planning to embrace the discipline of doing Morning prayer and Evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours each day.

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