How to find faith: here is a good resolution for the New Year

How to find faith: here is a good resolution for the New Year

A new year has begun. May it also be an occasion for spiritual renewal? In this article, we see how to rediscover faith with prayer, meditation and the constant improvement of oneself

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new year is always an opportunity for assessments and reflections on what has been and what can be. Although all too often good intentions end up fading, as we move away from the Celebrations and back to the daily routine, these kinds of considerations can be the starting point for a path of personal growth and improvement.  This can also include the desire to discover how to rediscover the lost faith, or simply faded.

Periods of uncertainty and disquiet are common to every man and woman. The very life we lead seems to be made to question what seemed to us as children simply true, absolute, indubitable. As children it is easy to find God in everything, to feel close to him, protected by his embrace, to recognize him and to meet him not only in the Sacraments and in the Gospel, but also in our loved ones, in the love of parents, in the small and great things of every day. It would be so beautiful to be able to keep that same security, that pure and absolute faith!

When you grow up you lose that freshness, that immediacy. The vicissitudes of life put us to the test, and it is not always easy to keep intact trust in God, the sense of belonging to him, who made us feel safe, protected. On the contrary, sometimes it is precisely events that turn us away from God, to make our faith waver, to the point of making it lukewarm and inconsistent.

It is normal. Faith by its very nature is not something immutable but is constantly evolving. He grows and matures with us, following our inner development, adapts to our changes, reacts to what troubles us, or that exalts us, suffers from our mistakes and our vices. As a plant it must be cultivated, strengthened with the right nourishment, straightened, if necessary, making use of the experience and knowledge of great men and women who have investigated the spirit drawing from it the best possible.

In this article, we set out to see together how to find faith in this year just begun, what strategies and tools to adopt to cultivate our interiority every day, in search of greater closeness to God.

How to find the faith

So what are the tools to rediscover faith? There is no universal recipe, everyone must look inside himself, find his own way, his own timing.

What we suggest are possible approaches, effective for everyone.

The recitation of the Holy Rosary

Or, more generally, prayer. Praying is our way of talking to God, of connecting with Him. The recitation of the Holy Rosary in particular, with the reiteration of prayers and formulas, allows the faithful to immerse themselves in a kind of meditation that allows the mind to get away from the real context and concentrate solely on its dialogue with the Highest.

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The Holy Rosary also preserves in itself the promises of Mary to those who recite it, and this makes it even more effective and pleasing to God. Devoting even a few minutes a day to prayers or the Holy Rosary is certainly an important starting point for those who want to find or strengthen their faith.

How and why to overcome vices

The search for faith starts from a work of self-knowledge. We return to ourselves, estranged from our daily routine, demanding a moment of solitude and silence. Only then can we find ourselves in a position to reflect deeply and consciously on our lives. And one of the most important of these will certainly be our own vices. Recognizing one’s vices is the fundamental starting point for correcting behaviours and attitudes. Vices are the most common and widespread practice of evil that involves and unites most human beings.  These habits are usually aimed at satisfying a need or a desire, which become so deeply rooted in the human spirit that they become indispensable at some point. Like every form of slavery that distracts the soul from what really matters, our vices displease God immensely. Therefore, working to eradicate them from our being is one of the most important actions that we can take on the journey to rediscovering faith. But how do you fight vices? First of all, you have to recognize them, admit them, just like you do for a morbid addiction. Then we must exercise willpower to escape the opportunities to perpetrate our vices and to turn our minds and hearts elsewhere. Prayer can certainly help us in this, because only with God’s help can we hope to free ourselves from our limits. After all, the whole spiritual path of a good Christian, since he was born at his death, should be to follow the model of Christ and try to adhere as much as possible to Him.

The study and reading of sacred texts can also help us. Saint Teresa of Avila, for example, Doctor of the Church and woman of immense wisdom, has left memorable pages on the need to know oneself, coming into contact with one’s soul through prayer and meditation, to advance on the spiritual path and free oneself from vice and sin that hinder love and do not allow the soul to make room for God.

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Saint Paul also left unforgettable writings that condemn vices and exalt virtues, which he defines respectively as the works of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit. For Saint Paul, the only way to rise above the enslaving power of vice and sin is to welcome and follow the way of the spirit by pursuing the virtues, those “fruits of the spirit” that ripen only in men who accept in themselves the divine Grace.

The 15 prayers of Saint Bridget

Returning to the need for daily prayer, an alternative to the recitation of the Holy Rosary can be that of the 15 prayers of Saint Bridget, the Swedish religious and mystic founder of the Order of the Holiest Saviour. Bridget wrote in her works that Jesus Crucified addressed her one day, revealing that during the Passion she had received 5480 blows from her executioners. The Saviour also made her 21 promises, which would be fulfilled on the condition that she recited every day for a year 15 prayers listed by Him. The daily practice of these prayers may seem very demanding, but the spiritual elevation they allow us to attain will be precious on our journey to rediscover faith.

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Spiritual books and quotations

Reading sacred books has always been an indispensable complement for anyone who wanted to enrich and strengthen their faith, turning their thoughts to God and increasing their spirit. In addition to reading the Bible, which should never be neglected, it may be useful to dedicate yourself to books that speak of the spiritual journey that a good Christian must make to reach God, such as the works of the aforementioned Saint Teresa of Avila, and in particular, The Inner Castle, but also The Confessions of Saint Augustine, which shows how a skilled orator dedicated to pleasures was able to transform himself into one of the most famous Saints of all time and Father of the Church, or even Filotea, the introduction to the devout life written by Saint Francis de Sales, considered one of the fathers of modern spirituality, who describes in this book how the choice between Heaven and Hell is made by every man every day through his own actions.

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Going to Mass

It may seem trivial or obvious, but going to Mass is a choice, not an obligation, that we should consider if we want to regain faith. The Mass in general and the Eucharist in particular represent the highest moment of encounter with God to which a Christian can aspire. It is a moment of spiritual renewal as if at Mass we recharged our batteries! It is also important for the sharing that it allows with the other faithful, and that is lacking in moments of solitary prayer. The important thing is to approach the Mass when you have the desire to do so, not considering it as an obligation or a constraint, but as a moment of celebration and precious and irreplaceable joy.