Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anna and the New Year's Resolution

"There was a prophetess, Anna...she never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." Luke 2:36-40

It's that time of year again, when people everywhere focus on a fresh start. It's time to put the past behind us, the past that is full of mistakes and regrets, and focus on beginning again. I like the words of Anne of Green Gables, "tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." I always begin each new year, each new Lent and each new Advent season with high ideals. This is the season when I will pray more, be kinder, eat less and exercise more. I am sure that this time will be different from all of my past failed attempts at self-improvement and sacrifice for God.

The prophetess Anna sets a high standard to aim for. Just thinking about trying to follow her example of fasting and prayer day and night, without leaving the temple wears me out. At first glance, it would seem impossible to live like Anna. But,when I consider that my body is the temple of God, the task seems more achievable even while it remains difficult.

My body is the temple of God, so by caring for myself to the best of my ability, I am remaining in the temple, worshiping God day and night. God is always within me and when I treat my body well by eating healthy, refraining from junk food and sweets and spending some time exercising each day, I am offering prayer and fasting to God. It isn't easy, and I know there will be times when I fail to do my best, when my prayer of healthy living will lose it's luster, but God will take my weakness as well and use it for His glory.

St. Paul tells us to pray constantly. By offering my days to God and turning to Him again and again, through my successes and failures, I will be remaining in the temple like Anna. When I begin each day asking God for His love and guidance in all things and telling Him how much I love Him and desire to follow His will, I will be praying constantly. What a wonderful New Year's resolution this can be!

Lord, help me to be like Anna. Let me remain in the temple of Your love, worshiping you night and day with fasting and prayer to the best of my ability. Accept my successes and failures as my sacrifice of love for you. Amen.


  1. Anne,
    We don't hear much about this great woman, but I have always admired her for some reason. I think she and Simeon made one very holy couple!
    What you say about our bodies being temples is so true and Scripture confirms it. I gave up making resolutions several years ago because I never seem to stick with them. Instead what I try to do is to prayerfully ask God what it is He would like from me in the coming year. God knows me well enough as well as my failed track record and never gives me something(s) I can't live up to.
    Similar to your living each day one at a time.
    Thanks for this insightful post. Sorry for rambling :)
    Hugs & Blessings! Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

  2. this is a great new year's message. put the past behind and treat your body as it should be. yes and yes!

  3. An excellent idea for anytime of the year, but thanks for relating and linking this thought to this place in time. Day after day we stumble and Our Blessed Mother is there to help us up, but at itmes the trying harder part gets forgotten (by me, at least.) This post is a great reminder for us to help stay focused throughout the day. Peace to you.

  4. "Accept my successes and failures as my sacrifice of love for you. Amen."

    Amen indeed.

    God bless you. Have a blessed New Year.

  5. i would offer the humbling good news that "we are loved exactly as we are not as we hope to be, wish we could be, are told to become, etc." yet there is inner strength in offering all we can to the king, and i hardly think there is anything wrong with high ideals and giving our best, it is in giving we receive the greatest gifts

  6. Very inspirational! And "Pray without ceasing" is my favorite quote from St Paul. God bless.

  7. Great post, Anne! God be praised for the way you care for your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit!

  8. Now there's an interesting statement "God will take my weakness and use it for His glory."

    I think too often we feel like failures for all the frailties and flaws, when if we would turn those over to Him, He can make something beautiful with all of it...

  9. Beautiful reflection. I love Anna and Simeon. Their faith and their perseverance. God bless and Happy New Year!

  10. Thank you for this fresh perspective on New Year's resolutions. I really like your reflection. I think Anna was such a beautiful woman, even if she was mentioned only briefly in the Bible. She was still mentioned, which is so amazing!

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! God bless you and your family!

  11. I'm catching up on posts from the blogs I follow and, boy, did I have fun reading your posts. I love your humor and realism and I really loved the post on the Eucharistic Miracle. Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi and congratulate you and the others in the Archdiocese on your new Archbishop - what a blessing!!!

  12. Loved your post, Anne :) Then again, I always love reading them. Every year I make New Years resolutions and fail half of them. This year my resolution is simply to get closer to Him. This should be easy since He gives us this grace anyway:) The truth is: I often sign my posts: Utterly Thine, O Lord. And I am His, even in all my sins. I would just like to focus more on Him and be more attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. I loved your prayer at the end, it was beautiful.