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As Lilia Grundy checks in with her Heavenly Boss for the last time of the year, she unexpectedly faces a yearly performance review.

Heavenly Performance Review  

Heading into the small, cozy chapel for my last visit with Jesus for the year, I was prepared to reflect and pray, hopeful to receive some guidance on next steps for 2024. 

What I didn’t expect was to check in for my performance evaluation with our Heavenly Father! As I knelt to give my thanks, I felt a nudge to open my journal and read back all the entries I had written the past year.  

Really, I thought? Reading back each entry from the past year seemed like wasted time to spend in Adoration—but I’ve grown to surrender to these fleeting thoughts.  

So away I went, reading and remembering this past year’s struggles and joys. 


Divine Flowchart 

As I read back my journal entries, some reflections were too difficult to swallow. Some incidents brought back anxieties. Some challenges didn’t seem challenging at all in retrospect. It was as if I was reviewing my year with our true Boss in heaven, and now I had to account for how I thought I'd performed.  

So just like I would do with my work supervisor, I began to track the trends and themes as if I were viewing a flowchart. I noticed worry, anxieties, fear. Ok, those were not the highlights—but I recognized the wins too.  

Growing in virtue: charity, sacrifice, patience. My days and months were filled with ups and downs, but I could happily acknowledge that my divine wins grew toward the end of the year. 




Spiritual Performance Plan 

As I finished reading all my entries, I certainly felt a sense of tremendous gratitude for everything I was able to experience this past year. Both the highs and the lows: they were all opportunities for growth.  

My time began to close for my last spiritual check-in of the year, and I waited for inspiration to come.  

Some of the practices I’ve adopted over the last few years to kick off the new year have included memorizing a line from Scripture, selecting monthly dedications and choosing a patron saint. These practices have helped motivate me spiritually.  

As I reflected on my past year trend of worry, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) came to mind with his famous quote, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”  

Padre Pio and his phrase seemed like the perfect way to jumpstart the new year. 


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Padre Pio and his phrase seemed like the perfect way to jumpstart the new year.  #CatholicMom


The next day I attended Mass and had the opportunity to visit the onsite gift shop afterwards. It just so happened that I came across a St. Pio of Pietrelcina sweatshirt that read, “Pray, hope and hakuna matata.”  

It was the perfect size for my husband, and I thought it would make for a great Christmas present for him … and yet I think it was also a gift for me!  

Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. (Padre Pio




Copyright 2024 Lilia Grundy
Images: (top, center) Canva; (bottom) copyright 2024 Lilia Grundy, all rights reserved