Worth Reading: Top 10 Papal Resolutions

Resolving to Write More courtesy Flickr user vanhookc

Creating a New Year’s List

For me, New Year’s Resolutions are like giving up something for Lent in that I tend to fail immediately. That’s why I like having a backup plan or two. This year I’m in luck. Thanks to Rappler, a Philippines-based social media and news site, this Top 10 list gives you and me ten different papally-based resolutions to make 2014 less gossipy and more joyous, and closer to those all around us. Here’s all ten summed up, but definitely take a look at what Rappler has to say about the basis for each of these:

  1. Don’t gossip.

  2. Finish your meals.

  3. Make time for others.

  4. Choose the “more humble” purchase.

  5. Meet the poor “in the flesh.”

  6. Stop judging others.

  7. Befriend those who disagree.

  8. Make commitments, such as marriage.

  9. Make it a habit to “ask the Lord.”

  10. Be happy.

This list is worth reading because the resolutions don’t exactly scream “churchy” or “papal.” Obviously the profound faith that impels Francis undergirds each resolution. However, one does not need to be Catholic (or a believer) to agree to resolutions like, “Make time for others,” “Finish your meals,” and “Befriend those who disagree [with you].” These simple resolutions call believers and nonbelievers alike to reexamine their lives through the lenses of the marginalized people they encounter. These resolutions seem to ask, “How would you like it if people forgot about you, ate your food, and then spoke ill of you?” Well, uh, Holy Father, when you put it that way…

And herein lies the genius of Francis: his life and spirituality take these simple (and mostly secular) resolutions and provide them simultaneously with a rare combination of depth and breadth. The depth is the full flavor of faith and tradition that we cannot help but taste. The breadth of these resolutions lies in their simplicity and their ability to reach all types of folk – not to be underestimated. These resolutions are an invitation to engage a world where all sorts of persons, as if at a banquet, are gathered together to share a rich and exquisite event.

So I say, go ahead and be bold. Let’s live our lives through the eyes of those we meet, especially those on the fringes of your life. These resolutions are ten different ways that we can do just that and I’m sure more than one of them will be challenging. And if we fail, we’ll just keep trying – Francis is not one to judge.

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Resolving to Write More courtesy Flickr user vanhookc

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