Resolutions, Lists, and Perfectionists

I am a “list” person. I love them. A friend of mine used to joke I have “lists for my lists”. But, as many of you know, being a “list” person is actually just a symptom of something else – a planner person. Go a little deeper and you’ll find a planner person is often a perfectionist.

New Year’s and fresh starts were made for list/planner/perfectionist people. We fill the days between Christmas and New Year with plans and lists for goals we want to achieve in the coming year – diet, exercise, spiritual growth, we focus on big improvements across the board. Naturally, over the course of the next couple months, most of us will sooner or later fail. We are engaged in a battle of wills. The spirit and the body; sometimes, the individual and God.

To be sure, we should have goals. We should want to improve, become holy and healthy, as God intends us to be. And the liturgy today gives us the perfect model for what our goal should be and how we can achieve it. Today we celebrate the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.

Mary’s humility and docility to God’s will gives us the perfect foundation for discerning what our objective should be for the New Year and our lives. Mary lived a quiet life in obedience and contemplation of God. She did not plan to become the Mother of our Lord and Savior, and when it was asked of her, she humbly said yes, because her will was God’s will. And we see as the Gospel story unfolds, with such a great privilege and act of love also came great trials and suffering, again not something she would have planned.

Let us offer this year and all our goals and aspirations to Our Blessed Mother; let us allow her to lead us to Her Divine Son and join her in praying at all times, “not my will, but yours.” In doing so, by God’s grace, we will be made truly perfect.

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