New Years (Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God) • We survived 2020! And we've been given the gift of another year to praise, serve, and glorify God. Our lives are filled with blessings and challenges. Which ones do we save? What do we ponder in our hearts?

The spiritual life also experiences ups and downs. St. Ignatius called this consolation and desolation. We need to savor the bright moments and take strength for the dark times. We can be confident that consolations are followed by desolations and desolations are followed by consolations. Here are three ideas for turning your burdens into blessings:

  1. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, not just at one moment in history, but at every moment. No matter what 2020 threw at us, I was confident that Jesus would be with us. We need to learn that Jesus is with us not just at Christmas or in the Eucharist, but in all the ups and downs of your life.
  2. Choose gratitude. There are always things that will tear you down and things that will lift you up. Whichever one you focus on will tend to grow in your life. Start your own gratitude jar for 2021, and commit yourself to pondering the blessings.
  3. When you start feeling overwhelmed, pray the Surrender Novena. Trying hard to make things work out is a recipe for disaster. Your life only works when you realize that it is a gift. Give yourself back to God. Place your burdens and the altar and watch him turn them into blessings.

Follow these three tips and you'll make 2021 the best year ever!

(1 Jan 2021)

Going Deeper: How was God with you in 2020? How had God showed you his presence this Christmas time? Save those good moments and keep pondering them in your heart.

Powered by Patrons. Image Source: