Live Each Day to the Full

As we begin the new year we are tempted to make New Year resolutions. If you recall I declared mine on the First Sunday of Advent which was the beginning of the liturgical year. I wrote then that I wished to pray for the grace to live in the present moment and live each day to the full. I looked for various means to make myself more attentive to what Christ is showing me now. The resulted in me making three resolutions.

My first resolution was I was going to be more faithful in doing an Examen at the end of the day. The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.

The second was I resolved to be more attentive to the Word of God. I decided to keep a copy of the gospel close to me and prayerfully read the gospel of Luke, and use it as a source of prayer. We are in year C and this the year when the Gospel of Luke is used most Sundays.

My third resolution was, in the light of the synodal process to listen what has been said and pay attention particularly to what parishioners have said about their hopes and concerns for the church as lived out in this parish of St Thomas, and work with you to see how we can truly be Christ present her and now in Canterbury.

Well I am in the sixth week and have to confess I haven’t been 100% successful. But don’t let that put you off considering ways you can be more open to how Christ is speaking to you. We need to be practical and specific if we are the resolutions we make are to impact our lives. It is also good to share them with someone you trust that will be an encouragement and help us to keep our feet firmly on the ground.

This past year I have been listening to The Bible in a Year podcast, where the American priest Fr. Mike Schmitz walks you through the entire Bible in 365 episodes, providing commentary, reflection, and prayer along the way. This is a way of seeing the world through Scripture. I have spoken to some who have found this very helpful and others who have found the 25 to 30 minutes difficult to sustain every day. If you want to know more here is the link.

The Bishops of England and Wales on their website “The God who Speaks” has some good suggestions about how we can make Scripture more a part of our prayer and life. This including listening to Gospel of Luke. Taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible, this four-part audio series features the voices of over 30 Catholics living and working in England and Wales. You can find it here.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest