Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

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What if I told you this New Year's Resolution to take some weight off

I live less than a mile from the most popular Fitness Center in Butte County here in Northern California—In Motion Fitness, and as the New Year is suddenly upon us, I am seeing that annual overflow of traffic that comes with everyone’s “New Year’s resolution.” Who has not made that January 1st commitment to shed the holiday pounds?

What typically happens is we shed the weight, and over the course of 4-6 weeks, our “fervor” to work out slowly begins to dissipate. We tell ourselves: “Our resolution has served its purpose, I have lost the weight, and I just do not have the time to work out anymore”. Consequently, we move on from our resolutions, and folks like myself, who live several blocks from a large Fitness Center, do not have to deal with the traffic anymore.

In light of this, it is usually early to mid-February that I am asking myself the same question: what does it mean to have a resolution?  Well, let us consider what the word itself means. The term resolution comes from the Latin resolutio, which speaks to a “process of reducing things into simpler forms”, or “to loosen.” It would appear our New Year’s resolutions should take stock into that overarching proverb of less is more. Sure, less physical weight may very well lead to more energy, and an overall increase in self-esteem, but our anthropology is body and soul. We could say, the whole idea of ‘loosen’ has as much to do with the need to alleviate the tension in our lives than it does the ‘loosening’ of pants with thinner waist lines.

G.K. Chesterton once said that "the object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul". For this reason, It makes perfect sense for us as Christians to have the sacrament of Confession as our lead New Year’s resolution. Recall what lies underneath every Act of Contrition: sorrow for our sin, and the resolve to conform ourselves more fully to Jesus Christ. Resolution is the natural outgrowth to genuine contrition. In other words, resolve is the fruit of a good confession.

What's more, out from the confessional do we feel “lighter” - less “weight” on our shoulders, and more clarity to see the habits that properly belong to God.

Does this mean we give up on our resolutions that have us paying attention to the physical? NO! In point of fact, working out and releasing those necessary endorphins can be very therapeutic to the soul, but to be fully present to the soul demands that our New Year’s resolve should have us thinking about the Sacrament of Confession. More specifically, how our renewed relationship with God can help us see more clearly those ‘things’ which need to be ‘reduced to simpler forms.’

So it is, let our New Year’s resolve include our spiritual fitness!

View Dr. Hollcraft's author profile on Amazon
Unleashing the Power of Intercessory Prayer - Book Cover

“Hollcraft's book engagingly integrates his personal experience with the luminous witness of Scripture and the overflowing holiness of the saints to help you maximize the effectiveness of your intercessory prayer.”
Bishop Liam Cary
Diocese of Baker, Oregon

“With this book, Hollcraft opens the door to the humble act of praying for others and invites us, through practical and accessible tips, to step through that door with trust.”
Dr. Anthony Lilles
Author and Academic Dean of Saint Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park (CA)

"As I read through these pages, I am reminded of our beautiful calling to pray for others, and Dr. Hollcraft explains here how to do so in deepest intimacy with Jesus Christ!"
Fr. Dave Pivonka T.O.R.
President of Franciscan University of Steubenville

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A Heart for Evangelizing - Book Cover

“Evangelization is never about numbers, and never about programs. It’s one heart setting another on fire. With this book, Dr. Hollcraft helps us keep the home fires burning—even as we set the world ablaze with Christ.”
Mike Aquilina
Award-winning author of more than 40 popular books

“Hollcraft wonderfully displays the tapestry of Catholic life and evangelization by weaving solid Catholic teaching, its application to the modern world, and clearly expressed examples that bring out the light and shadows of this beautiful picture.”
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
Author, television host, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center
for Biblical Theology

"In a world of burgeoning textbooks and media, the reminder that  catechesis is inescapably a personal task to which we are all called, through a cooperation with the redeeming and educative work of the Person of the Holy Trinity, is a timely and important one."
Dr. Petroc Willey
Professor of Catechetics, Franciscan University of Steubenville

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