A Eucharistic New Year’s Resolution

We are beginning a new year, within the nationwide Eucharistic Revival initiated by the U.S. Catholic bishops that began on June 19, 2022, the Feast of Corpus Christi. As we consider our New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps we can make one of them Eucharistic, include an increase in our “diet” of the Bread From Heaven, Jesus Christ!

If we are just returning to Sunday Mass and on Holy Days of Obligation, then making a true commitment to this would be a start. Making Sunday Mass a non-negotiable part of each weekend will have a lasting impact on us as individuals and on our family — that portion of God’s family entrusted to us.

If perhaps your Sunday Mass is already a fixed part of your life, increasing the frequency may make for a good resolution. Going to Mass an additional day or two during the week would increase the spiritual nourishment of your supernatural “diet”, deepening your relationship with Christ. If work makes that impossible Monday through Friday — even before or after work — perhaps try to make Saturday and Sunday as your New Year Resolve. Some find daily Mass so much a part of their existence that when they cannot (as at the beginning of the pandemic) they feel a spiritual and emotional void, something like fasting from physical food: it’s not fun.

Another resolution could be “snacking” more on Spiritual Communions, prayers that express our desire and intention to receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion. This prayer — expressed with true love and desire — can be so powerful that we receive the same grace as when we actually receive Holy Communion. A good formula to use is:

I wish my Lord to receive you with the purity, humility and devotion with which your Most Holy Mother received You, with the spirit and fervor of the saints.

If you want a bit more than just a “snack”, then try making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament each day. Just stop off at a church or chapel when it is open and go before the tabernacle and make your spiritual communion. You may also wish to spend some time to open your heart to our Lord and place all your worries and troubles in his hands. Some people do this by spending time in Adoration in an Adoration Chapel or during time when our Lord is placed on the altar in Exposition.

Additional preparation for Holy Mass and Communion could also increase our nourishment. Preparation with prayer and sacrifice intended to purify the heart and body for this great sacrament is pleasing to God, going beyond the one – hour fast required to receive Holy Communion. Making acts of contrition and a good confession — especially for the times we have received our Lord in mortal sin or in an inattentive manner — acknowledges our unworthiness to receive him and his great love and mercy, to prepare our hearts to be united to in this Sacrament of Love. All this prepares us to get more out of Eucharistic devotion.

What about sharing our Eucharistic faith and love with others? We could share with others how important it is for us to attend Mass and nourish our soul each week, just as we share what things we did over the weekend with our friends and colleagues. Some people even share what they ate…so why not share that you had the chance to partake in a heavenly banquet and consume the Bread of Life? You could try to invite one person to join you in going to Mass each month. Then share with them too how you prepare yourself for it by going to Confession and making Spiritual Communions.

As you can see there is plenty of room for a Eucharistic New Year’s Resolution. Let’s start with one and make our Lord truly happy!

Father John Waiss is the pastor of St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is also a member of Opus Dei, the prelature founded by St. Josemaria Escriva.