CUA · Faith · life

6 Simple New Years Resolutons for the Catholic College Student in 2016 

Happy almost New Year!

As New Years is just two days away, I find myself facing the ever-daunting question of what my resolution is going to be. Without fail, one of my resolutions is always to “pray more.” Yet, I never specify how I’m going to do that and so usually I fall ridiculously short on this resolution. If you’re at all like me, then hopefully I just did both of us a favor by putting together 6 simple and concrete ways to increase a prayer life in 2016 – Enjoy!

#1 Sit in silence for 5 minutes per day. 

If your life looks anything like mine, it is full of lunch dates with friends, social events, class lectures, and almost non-stop noise. While these are good things, learning to sit in – and appreciate – silence is a lost art to most of us. Yet, an essential element of prayer is learning how to listen. So for just 5 minutes per day, try to be silent and prepare your heart and mind for the conversation with Christ that prayer is meant to be.

#2 Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Do this as often as possible – if you have a chapel on campus, challenge yourself to do it once per day. If you don’t, challenge yourself to make it there once per week. Just being before the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is one of the most powerful and simple things you can do this year!

#3 Pray a morning offering when you wake up each day instead of checking Instagram. 

Boy, am I bad at this one. My morning routine usually consists of Instagram, snapchat and my email – and yet rarely do I remember to pray before walking out the door. Saying a simple prayer when you wake up, before venturing out into whatever the day holds, can help focus your attention on God’s presence in your life and help you keep an eye out for what He has in store for you.

#4 Pray the Examen each night. 

Praying the Examen at the end of the day is a wonderful way to think back on your day and recognize where God was moving and working in your life! You can find a full version here. I also like doing a shortened version on particularly late nights where I can barely function where I think back over my day and briefly jot down three things I’m grateful for and three prayer intentions!

#5 Pray Hail Mary’s while in line for food at the dinning hall. 

For me, learning how to pray in college has involved learning how to use any moment of free time I possibly have for prayer. This means that as I wait in line for Chick-Fil-A or Starbucks, instead of checking my phone for the millionth time that day, I pray a few Hail Mary’s. Try to identity as many “built in prayer moments” as you possibly can throughout your day and take advantage! Don’t forget that God is everywhere and can use any moment as a time for you two to connect!

#6 Go to daily Mass as often as possible/ Read the Mass readings every day if you can’t make it to Mass.

Cultivating a commitment to daily Mass is by far the best thing I’ve done in college. Receiving the Eucharist on a frequent basis is transformative, after all the Eucharist is the Source and Summit of the Catholic faith! If you can’t make it to Mass, be in communion with the Universal Church by praying over the daily readings!

BONUS #7 Consecrate yourself to Mary. 

I cannot emphasize this enough- Marian consecration will change your life and your relationship with Christ. Entrust everything to Mary, surrender everything you are to her motherly care and you will be amazed at how fruitful her presence in your life will be! You can read all about Marian Consecration here!  { Not as simple but totally worth it }

I hope these suggestions give you some inspiration for simple ways to make 2016 more Christ- centered and prayer-filled! Do you have any additional New Years resolution suggestions? Feel free to comment them below!

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