Why are new years’ resolutions so difficult to adhere to and complete? I am amazed by how much of the year has already passed by, and also by how much I have left to accomplish. When my prayer life falters, every other part of me lags behind, fall behind, and eventually regresses.

Regression. It’s no longer seriously considered in the field of psychology; but in one’s faithfulness it is unfathomable how quickly we lose our resolve to do better, to do more, to exceed expectations by leaps and bounds.

I now know what it is like to be lukewarm and complacent; what a distasteful state. Where’s the motivation? But how to build up character and virtues without puffing up one’s self? How to sacrifice without thinking that we are winning merit with God?

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Humility, it’s something that I am learning to respect. All too often I have to remind myself that my life is not my own. I have newfound, renewed respect for those priests who I’ve come across and tell me that all that the advice they offer comes from God.

La vida no es mio.
Lo siento.
I assume it’s my ability, my skill, my right. You have any idea how often I repeat those two lines above to God? It’s usually on the drive to campus, or with my coffee mug in hand. I’m floundering around for words here to express it. Maybe it is just so personal, or so significant that words may never be found.
On another note, I know some of you expressed interest in my sociology paper on cohabitation and religion, so if you want a copy, I’ll attach it to an email for you. It was fun to write it — I like the act of writing. I’m not sure if I like the results section – oh, it’s well-written, but the reality of the numbers and the analysis presents religion with a poor outlook especially as cultural trends continue to shift towards the individual and the material world.
Isn’t it interesting how you really don’t want more than what you currently have until someone brings it up? My little putt-putt of a car is okay until I hear of a 2k deal for some snazzy little thing being sold by the kid down the street; or I have more than enough fabric stored under the bed until I see that cute quilting calico in the store bin. These trends are just limited to us, and they rage around the world in neat little digital gizmos, fancy gas-saving (?) cars, that new specialty on coffee that Starbuck is offering, etc. Got to have it, our way and fast. It’s all about self-gratification. Well, apparently religion has gone down the same road with it being less and less about adherence to the institution’s moral teachings and more about taking what is pleasing to you, and leaving the rest behind. We look to God as a dispensing machine, getting what we want – prayers, desires, needs. Love is a two-way street. We have tonnes of sayings about pairs, from the two-way street, to it takes two to tango. We apply that to our love lives, to our friendships and expectations. But to the one it matters the utmost – God- we pay no heed. God’s not about meeting our needs, but we are supposed to meet his needs, do his work, his will. Why else would Christ tell us to take on a yoke? It’s not about play, but work. Nor else would the New Testament apostles call themselves slaves of Christ. It’s not about us. But we like us, ourselves so we continue following that carrot that we shall never get- it just leads to more trouble. So, long explanation, short reply – we behave just as we think; you follow secular society, then your behaviors will not be aligned with God. In essence, more youth, young adults, and divorcees are turning to cohabitation because it meets their needs, instead of turning from the temptation – wouldn’t you know it leads to more temptation of sexual immorality?