“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Many years ago — more than I care to remember some days — I made a resolve to write something, anything, in a daily blog. Some days might be my thoughts about something, other days I might share a funny picture or fascinating video, other days I might recount vacation happenings, recovery from surgery, et cetera. The idea was simply to write something each day. I never realized what discipline that would take to do so. Some days I find it incredibly difficult to think of something to say or post or share.
Then, on February 21, 2012, the day before Ash Wednesday, I began yet another daily discipline: this Daily Reflection blog. Throughout the past six years, I have done my best to maintain a certain “level” of writing. Unlike my daily blog, this Daily Reflection is designed to provide some kind of offering to help others grow spiritually. I have shifted the mode of the daily reflection. Initially, I began by reflecting upon the readings of the day. However, after going through the entire three year cycle of readings, I decided to attempt something else and reflect upon quotes.
All the discipline that my daily blog takes and my Daily Reflections take are a reflection of today’s quote and a reminder to us all: it takes discipline for us to improve spiritually. That discipline needs to turn into habit. We will not improve our prayer life by praying once in a while. We have to pray more often and pray more intensely each day. We cannot improve as disciples by helping someone once in a blue moon. We have to look out for the good of others at all times. We cannot assure ourselves of entry to the Kingdom by going to Mass once a week. We have to live our faith on a daily basis.
In short, we have to form spiritual habits. The quicker we can fall into the routine of doing good, of praying, or helping others, the better we will become.
We often associate “habit” with something bad. And, yes, we all have bad habits. Those, we should try to rid ourselves of. We also need to develop good habits. Prayer, mercy, kindness, forbearance, tolerance, love, understanding: these are all admirable habits to develop.
God will end up judging us on what we repeatedly do. Let us work on repeatedly doing good. Develop that habit today and encourage that habit in others.
FAITH ACTION: Make sure that you hold true to your spiritual plans. Do not allow or create reasons to become slack in your resolve.