I created this year-in-review calendar for the New Year 2017 with all the Coptic feasts and fasts of the year noted. I created it to plan out my strategies and projects for Coptic Dad & Mom 2017, but I printed a copy for Abouna and now you can download it as well. Click here for the 2017 Year-in-Review Calendar (PDF – 374 KB)
Abouna gave a wonderful sermon about how to start the new year on the right foot spiritually. It was a simple five step program to renewing your life, and I truly believe this could work in every aspect of life–not just spiritual growth.
Five Steps to Starting Off the New Year Right
1. Sit with Yourself
2. Sit with God
3. Sit with Abouna
4. Sit with Others
5. Repeat steps 1-4!
Sit with Yourself
In order to renew ourselves spiritually, each of us first need to spend time in quiet contemplation. Each of us also needs to sit alone in a closed room and examine our hearts, our thoughts, and our actions. It helps to write it all down, the good and the bad: “How did last year go? Where am I strong? Where am I weak?” We should examine “where [we]have fallen” (Rev. 2:5) and figure out how to avoid those traps in our life this time around.
Sit with God
The next step is to sit with God. After we have finished examining ourselves, we need to sit with God and repent of your sins. We need to ask for support and guidance for our faults and thank Him for His many blessings. This is such an important step. This is the time to be really honest with God–to open up and pour our hearts out before Him.
Sit with Abouna
Only then can we go and sit with Abouna. Spending time with Abouna in confession and receiving absolution is sometimes a neglected step. It shouldn’t be! Abouna compared it to washing laundry. Step one is gathering the clothes, step two is pouring the detergent, step three is running the washing machine. God is the detergent; He cleanses us from our sins and unburdens us from what weighs us down. But we have to run the washing machine! Go to the priest for confession and absolution. Come out clean on the other side :).
Sit with Others
Finally, we need to sit with others. We need to reconcile ourselves with those people we have hurt or fought with or been hurt by in the past year. Abouna’s advice is to start the year with love and forgiveness. Break the ice. Call the person and ask about him or her. There isn’t enough love in this world… don’t waste an opportunity to generate more :)!
Rinse and Repeat
The last step is of course to rinse and repeat! This process of renewal shouldn’t be saved for once a year. It should happen at best daily. One recommendation is to think about the day lying in bed before we sleep: “Where did I go wrong? What did I do right?” But if doing this daily is difficult, at least aim for twice a week. It’s much easier to clean clothes that are only a little dirty than to start with those sopping with mud!
As I said, I think this process is important in every aspect of life, with all that worries us: “Am I a good parent? Am I the spouse I want to be? Am I doing well at work? Am I doing well in my service? Is my life balanced?”
Happy New Year (+ Gift!)
Have a fantastic 2017! Spend it in the company of God :)!
I created this year-in-review calendar for 2017 with all the Coptic feasts and fasts of the year noted. I created it to plan out my strategies and projects for Coptic Dad & Mom 2017, but I printed a copy for Abouna and now you can download it as well.
Click here for the 2017 Year-in-Review Calendar (PDF – 374 KB)
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(updated from a past post)