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 | By Sister Mary Judith O’Brien, RSM

Fruit of good resolutions

To form good resolutions without practicing them is to resemble a tree that blossoms plentifully but produces no fruit. No matter how delightful it may appear, it cannot be pleasing to the eye of the Master who expects it to be productive.1

So advised Venerable Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. The simple reflection and imagery provide profound guidance on the importance of fulfilling good resolutions. Making good resolutions is a response to God’s call to fulfill our baptismal promises. Virtue is acquired by good resolutions put into practice repeatedly in the ordinary acts of life. The fruit of good resolutions is an enlivened faith proclaimed in our deeds.

While acts flowing from good resolutions may be small, think of the bountiful harvest borne by one who possesses patience and gentleness. Consider the yield of true courtesy. The blossoming of our resolutions reaps spiritual maturity. The dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, proclaimed the universal call to holiness:

… this holiness of the Church is unceasingly manifested, and must be manifested in the fruits of grace which the Spirit produces in the Faithful; it is expressed in many ways in individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity… (Para. 39)

To resolve to seek holiness is good; to exercise our resolutions is cooperation with grace, and to unite our resolve with the sacredness of the Church is to yield a rich harvest.

We in the Diocese of Saginaw celebrate the priestly ordination of one young man who persevered in faith through several years of seminary formation in order to give his life to Christ and his Church. We pray for the Franciscan Poor Clare nuns who devoted 33 years of prayer within the Diocese. And let us never overlook couples who commit their lives within the sacrament of marriage, seeking the wellbeing and holiness of their spouse and children.

Let us pray that we may each produce fruit pleasing to the Master.

1 Venerable Catherine McAuley, Retreat Instructions, The Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1952, 79.