From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…January 7, 2018

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? There are always elements of our lives that need to be changed. It might be more tangible elements, like losing weight, or less tangible, like growing in patience. Whatever it is, there are always things about our lives that need to be changed. We are fallen, imperfect humans. We are beset by any number of weaknesses and foibles. Some are more serious than others, faults that affect our physical health and moral character, while others are less serious, minor bad habits that we would like to get rid of (like chewing on your hair).

When there is a change we want to make, it is useful to examine our reasonings and motivations. Let’s take weight loss because that is one of the most common ones this time of year. What is your reason (purpose, goal) in losing weight? There might be many reasons of varying importance. Is it so you will be ready for the beach in summer (vanity)? Is it for your health (fear of illness/death)’? Is it because you don’t want to keep buying new clothes (greed)’? Is it so you can enjoy more of life without being out of breath and tired (pleasure)’? Is it so that you can be a better husband, mother, grandparent, etc. (charity)’?

Asking these sorts of questions, which can be done for any kind of change, are about helping us to see what we are really trying to achieve. The real goal isn’t  losing weight. That is just a proximate goal for what we really want. Of course, if what we really want isn’t  all that valuable to us, then the proximate goal, losing weight, will not be that valuable, and we won’t pursue it for very long.

The same goes for the spiritual changes we want to make. Let’s say you want to change the habit of gossip. Why? Is it so you don’t suffer the consequences of being a gossip (fear)?  Is it so people will think  well of you (vanity)? Is it so that you won’t be disgusted with yourself (pride)? Is it so that you can be a more loving person towards others (charity)?

Again,  the  question  of  our  motivations  are important, because if the motivation holds little value in our lives, we won’t make the change. Of course, what gets us started might be rather small goals that are important to us, but they can blossom into greater reasons to keep going. At the end of the day, though, it is important that we take stock of why we want to do what we say we want to do. When we can keep those reasons before our minds, it helps us to endure when the going gets tough, and whenever we are trying to make a change there will be tough times.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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