The new year isn’t just a time to renew your gym membership. It’s an opportunity to offer your heart to the glory of Christ and his Church. With that in mind, we’ve made a list of 8 Catholic resolutions to guide your spiritual life throughout the year.
Below are three resolutions specifically focused on prayer. Check out the full list to discover a few resources we’ve pulled together to help you have a Christ-honoring 2019.
1. Pray a novena
A novena is a nine-day period of prayer devoted to a particular saint or petition. “Novena” comes from the Latin word meaning nine, novem. Novenas became popular in the Middle Ages and have antecedents in the early Church. Some trace the inspiration for the practice to the nine days the disciples spent praying between Jesus’ ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Often a novena is directed to a saint, with the final day of the novena coinciding with the saint’s feast day. Throughout the year, we’ll be announcing novenas on our blog. Share your intentions with other Verbum users in the comments so we can pray for each other.
2. Pray for the dead
The dead are physically separated from us, but we remain spiritually connected to them in the Mystical Body of Christ. In 2 Timothy 1:16–18, St. Paul prays for the deceased Onesiphorus: “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains,  but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me— may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.”
So let us follow the example of St. Paul and pray for the souls of the dead throughout the year. Praying for the dead is also a helpful reminder of our own deaths and our proper aim: eternal life in heaven.
3. Pray the evening office with your friends
Our faith thrives when we worship and pray together. This year, extend your worship beyond Mass: gather with friends and neighbors at home to recite the evening office or study the daily Gospel reading. Make a simple meal and delight in the goodness of friendship directed to God. Remember that when we come together to worship and pray, we join each other in the presence of Christ, as our Lord tells us in Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Don’t miss the full list of 8 Catholic resolutions for 2019. We pray these classic disciplines glorify Christ and his Church throughout the year.