Jennifer Fulwiler came up with a great way to ring in the new year: she set up a website that will randomly choose a saint for you. She explains:
I got the idea from the “saint for the year” devotion, where people have a patron saint for the new year chosen for them at random (usually by a priest or religious, who prays over each choice). I’ve had saints chosen for me this way before, and it’s always been a great experience. E.g. In 2007 St. Maximilian Kolbe was picked as my patron for the year. I wasn’t familiar with him before that, but his life ended up inspiring me tremendously all throughout the year, and I still ask him for prayers for all sorts of matters. He’s become one of my favorite saints.
This strikes me as a great way to grow spiritually. Just as spending a year, or even a few weeks, as an exchange student helps you to learn the perspective and culture of people you don’t know well, this does something similar with the Saints in Heaven. They lived and died in Grace, and their personal sacrifices and struggles were a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You could certainly do worse than to learn from their examples.
Anyways, if you’re serious about doing it, go to the site she set up here, pray for the Spirit’s guidance, and click away. If you’re not wanting a full year’s commitment, feel free to play around with the site, anyways.
I got St. Isaac Jogues, by the way. I knew next to nothing about him, and admit I was immediately a little jealous that one of the other people I knew who did it got St. Raymond of Peñafort (a canon lawyer). But, as it turns out, he’s an awesome saint.
Whatever your plans for 2011, I hope the year is fruitful is blessed. Auld lang syne, and all that.
P.S. On a related New Year’s note, tomorrow marks the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. It’s normally a holy day of obligation, but not when it falls on a Saturday or Monday in the US. It’s still worth going to Mass, since it’s a holy day. It’s a good way to start the year off right. And, since it’s the eighth day of Christmas, this celebrates Jesus’ officially becoming a Jew under the Old Covenant. Luke 2:22-40 took place on this, the Eighth Day, and the passage is well worth another read.