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Lectio Divina Out Loud: Without worrying about what to do for the new year, Erika Dix reflects on how to start instead.  

And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception (Philippians 1:9)


Prayer time early in the new year seems to be reflective and about goal-setting. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, a blank page. Even though we are still carrying over all the projects, stresses, trials and plans from the year before, it usually feels like a do-over. Perhaps it is a new start to how we approach all the pressures from the year before.   

After reading and reflecting on this verse from Philippians, I saw more clearly how to go about doing my new year re-start. We are a few weeks into the new year now, and I have re-started yoga, re-started my parenting skills program, re-started my budget, re-started my “eat healthier” diet, and re-started my prayer time. I pretty much follow this same list every year. Generally, I stay on track for a while until something comes along to disrupt the routine, such as an illness or big event that needs planning. This year, however, I am open to something different.  




The words I heard in prayer were, “Love Well, Live Well.” I heard that and breathed it in. Saint Paul’s prayer was for us to increase our love, and not just in one area, but in every thought we perceive and action we take. He goes on to say:

to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:10-11)


This is a restart in LOVE, and an ability to discern what God is actually calling us to start in our lives. All of our goals and reflections are important, but what will help to continue them throughout the year (beyond a few weeks) is that increase in love, allowing it to permeate all our knowledge and perceptions. We will be filled with the “fruit of our labors,” but not just the work we put in, it will be how right we are with God while working hard on our goals.  


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All of our goals and reflections are important, but what will help to continue them throughout the year (beyond a few weeks) is that increase in love. #CatholicMom


This fresh start, new beginning, and blank page can be filled with only goals and reflections, and this pattern can repeat every new year. This year, however, I am choosing to “Love Well, Live Well,” so that I can discern what value my goals and reflections have, especially through Jesus’ love. Loving well will bring us closer to living well, even as the years go by.   



Jesus, I want to breathe with You, learn with You, stretch with You, grow strong with you, and be still with You. Help me to Love Well and Live Well this year. 



Copyright 2024 Erika Dix
Images: Canva