The New Year’s Resolution That Will Change Your Spiritual Life


Right now you’re likely inundated with ideas for how to make your new year healthier, more relaxing, more successful, more social…the lists really go on and on. When I sat down to do my own goal setting for the New Year, one rather unusual resolution kept coming up in my thoughts and prayers:

Ponder things in your heart.

I know this seems a little poetic and abstract, but I actually think there is immense concrete value in this resolution. In Luke 2:19, after a whirlwind of incredible experiences, including being visited by an angel, carrying God’s baby in her womb, traveling to Bethlehem while very pregnant, and giving birth to the Savior of the world, we are told that “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

In today’s culture, we’re often tempted to share all the things going on in our lives, sometimes even the raw emotions we may feel in a spontaneous moment of frustration or immense joy, instead of “keeping” all these things. Instead of pondering in our hearts and taking time to reflect, we post online, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or our social media companion of choice.

This coming year, join me in this challenge to ponder…

First by creating space and time for reflecting. We can do this by crossing an item off our overflowing to-do lists every day or by waking up a little earlier to do our pondering before the day’s obligations come rushing at us. The goal is to focus a little less on what you need to do in an effort to make more time for pondering about who you are and who God wants you to become. The Blessed Mother’s pondering was transformative—a life spent pondering contributed to her becoming the handmaid of the Lord, and ultimately, the Queen of Heaven.

Second, if you easily fall into technology and social media overuse, resist the urge at least once a day to share a moment or thought with the world and instead ponder that circumstance or emotion—whether it be a joyful, angry, sad, annoyed, or proud one –instead in your heart, mulling it over only with God.

So to summarize: keep more than you share, ponder more than you post.

Then, maybe by the end of next year, you’ll be a little more like Our Lady, having deepened your relationship with God by more frequently sharing things just between the two of you, like a close father and child, like intimate friends.


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About the Author

Check out Katie Warner’s exciting book, Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family (Emmaus Road Publishing, August 2015).

Here’s what some other Catholic authors and leaders are saying about Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, foreword by Bishop James Conley (Emmaus Road Publishing):

"Read this book now and your children will thank you later." (Steve Ray)

"Warner has drawn up a map we can read and follow, so that we all arrive at the goal [heaven], together with our families." (Dr. Scott Hahn)

"Head & Heart will help you take small steps toward building a vibrant Catholic identity in your home." (Dr. Edward Sri)


Katie Warner

Katie Warner is a Catholic wife, stay-at-home mother, speaker, writer, and evangelist who is passionate about taking small steps toward a more meaningful and spiritual life, and helping others do the same.

Katie writes and speaks about a variety of spiritual and practical topics, and has presented in venues like the National Catholic Bible Conference and numerous Legatus chapters, the Eucharistic Congress of Atlanta, EWTN radio, and on EWTN television. She is also a presenter for the Symbolon RCIA and Opening the Word programs produced by the Augustine Institute. Katie is one of the original contributing writers for The Integrated Catholic Life and a correspondent for the National Catholic Register.

Katie works very part-time (usually during toddler naps and late at night) as the Manager of Communication and Evangelization for Catholics Come Home, a national Catholic evangelism apostolate working to invite fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics home to the Catholic Church. She holds a graduate degree in Catholic Theology, specializing in Evangelization and Catechesis, from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Her favorite ministry work—and day-job—is family life, and she enjoys homemaking and mothering in sunny Southern California, where she lives with her husband and son.

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