The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Be it resolved...

Getting spiritual on the brink of a new year

Sure, you may have made some New Year's resolutions already, but have you made any spiritual resolutions for 2012?

In 1535, Martin Luther's friend, Peter Beskendorf, asked for advice about prayer. The reformer's response came in the form of an open letter titled "How One Should Pray, for Master Peter the Barber." His basic message to Beskendorf was to use the spiritual gems found in the Small Catechism as a guide for prayer and spiritual growth. It's still good advice.

But there are other disciplines, routines and practices to spiritually focus us in this new year. Here are seven:

1. Read the work of an unfamiliar spiritual writer.

Classical and contemporary writers provide a feast of spiritual food. To get you started, consider one of these:

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster (HarperSanFrancisco, 1988).

The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist by Dorothy Day (HarperOne, 1996).

What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey (Zondervan, 2002).

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux by St. Therese of Lisieux (ICS Publications, 1996).

Find inspiration in their words and practices. Consider meeting weekly with several people to discuss the wisdom of an author and how his or her insights could apply to your lives.

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February issue


Embracing diversity