New Years Eve is coming up. I know we all like the lose weight and eat healthy resolutions...I am great at failing at those ;) Me and the kids decided last year we were going to do some cool Catholic stuff for our resolutions. Here's some ideas you can discuss with your family.
1. Attend Mass as a family on New Year's Day (oh wait it's a Holy Day).
2. Pick a Saint and dedicate your family to the Saint for the year. Hang an icon or painting of the Saint in the main living place.
3. Read a biography on the Saint your family chose, collect children's books on the Saint during the year.
4. All members of family wear that Saint's holy medal that have been blessed.
5. Find out the Feast Day of the Saint and through a Feast Day party, just resolve to do one Saint Day Feast Day party- you will love it and probably want to do more. Ours was St. Anthony- I really would like to do a repeat this year! lol
6. Find out every one's Baptism dates and have a little Baptism party for each family member. (we even included my husband- who was Baptised Methodist in on this one). Let that member chose the meal and give them a little holy item or book for a gift. Invite the Godparents over too! Find that Baptism candle and white garment if it's around.
7. Do the Epiphany Blessing! I posted about it here!
8. Resolve to start saying a rosary 3x a week and join the Rosary Confraternity. Some kind person left a pamphlet out at my Holy Hour and I joined several years ago. I was able to spread it in my own extended family. And it's lead to daily rosaries said between all my siblings and our parents..how awesome is that?! And start wearing that Scapular again! Use these to help your kids pray. Get the Holy Heroes Rosary Mysteries CDs..your family with love them! (We still need the Sorrowful Mysteries and Luminous Mysteries.)
9. Resolve to make at least one extra Mass a week- we started out with one. Try First Friday Devotions or Saturdays. And if you have dedicated your family to a Saint- pick out the local Church with that Saint as their Patron and attend Mass there weekly if possibly.
10. Decide now to dress like Saints for Halloween. Start collecting items for your costumes. Take back the REAL ALL HALLOW'S EVE! We have All Hallow's because of a Feast day you know ;) Why not trying to promote good things, instead of trying to keep up the worldly culture of death where we glorify death of our earthly bodies and mock death. Try keeping up with the Spiritual Christian Culture of Life by Celebrating All Saints day and All Souls Day instead.
11. Know ahead of time what you're going to do with your kids for Lent- don't let Ash Wednesday sneak up on you next year without a Lenten plan.
12. Join Holy Heroes for the regular Sunday Gospel videos and coloring pictures. It helps prepare mom and dad and all the kids. They send the video out in the beginning of the week and you have all week to watch it.
13. Learn all the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Teach them to your kids. There is a neato song we learned on Holy Heroes for them, we'll have to sing for everyone sometime. Start praying for the "Living and the Dead" at family prayer time- like at dinner prayer or bed time prayer. "May the Souls of the Faithfully Departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen" We must pray for those in Purgatory. Instill this in your children. Point out when your kids to a work of Mercy and tell them to offer it up to Jesus.
14. Have trouble kneeling for bedtime pray? Make these cushy kneelers out of garden supplies and puffy paints/ glitter. My kids love them and use them every night. Brenden seems to be in charge or getting them out and putting them away. My little one year old enforces where the older two kneel. It's hilarious. (another great idea from Catholic Icing)
15. Start reading about the Saint of the Day. You can buy a book (I am book crazy so we have around 3 to read from) or just sign up for an email delivered daily from here. (Scroll down almost half way) I had to laugh at my husband not to long ago. The kids were complaining we needed to do a Feast Day party instead of homeschooling for the day. And Brad say's 'well seems like you guys get to have Feast Day parties a lot, seems like everyday is a feast day for something' ;)!! HAHA!
16. Make it your job to get to Confession ONCE A MONTH. This is harder to do but not impossible- I admit I am not perfect at it, but I hope to be someday, and if your making first Friday's than you SHOULD be doing confession- since you read about the promises ;) Print off those local confession schedules now and get to know them. Write it on a calender and tell your kids ahead of time, so they can remind you too- accountability.
17. Try and visit each Church in your area once in the next year. Go and visit all the pretty local "older churches". Maybe you will discover a hidden treasure in visiting one and it will become your favorite daily mass spot.
18. Make a pilgrimage. There are shrines close by. Why not try a day trip. The spiritual benefits are worth the gas money ;)
19. Commit to a Eucharistic Adoration hour. I held one for a number of years from high school up to with two kids at different intervals. We attend Mass now instead since our lifestyle needs some flexibility. But if you have the ability to commit to one go for it! Your prayers will get answered. And your allowing your Guardian Angel to do what they want to do the most- praise and Adore God. What better way to treat your Angel and allow them to fulfill their duty to you? My kids who are 5, 4 and 1, still remember their adoration hour, and they talk about it- they were so little! So it left a huge impression on them. I remember as a highschooler the peace I felt and how badly I missed it when our mom changed the holy hour. It was so much easier to stay focused too, my head felt uncluttered. Amazing that I can look back at the stage of life and recognize the benefit still.
20. Pick a Mission to send money to. Need a few ideas? Well the Rosary Confraternity is run by Dominicans, that's one place you can send some money. The Saint you chose for your family to be dedicated to- find out that Saint's order they belonged to and Google Search that same Order and send money to them. Have them offer a Mass for your special intentions- try and arrange it on the Saint's Feast Day.