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The Best New Year's Resolution: Prayer

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"New Year, New You!" You may see this on many advertisements about now. The New Year can be seen as a chance to start over, whether that be through reconnecting with someone, hitting the gym more often, giving up a bad habit, or making some other resolution. We would like to suggest an alternative to you: Begin this New Year with a commitment to prayer.

The director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), Dr. Bryan Thatcher, recommends you keep that New Year commitment by joining or creating a cenacle.

What is a Divine Mercy cenacle? It's a group of people who meet weekly for song, prayer, and discussion on Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of St. Faustina as a small Christian community. In addition to these devotions, cenacles commit to Eucharistic Adoration, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick and dying, and engaging in other works of mercy.

"People today are so busy, struggling in a multitude of ways," Dr. Thatcher said. "They have a need to better understand what trust in God means and how to live the message of Divine Mercy in these troubled times. Cenacles bring like-minded people together to talk about God's love and mercy and the path to holiness through a sacramental life."

With over 3,500 cenacles in the United States and countless others in more than 40 countries, there may already be a Divine Mercy cenacle in your area! Visit TheDivineMercy.org/eadm/cenacle/cenaclelist.php to find out.

If you would like to start your own cenacle, here are some guidelines to get you started:

1. Contact EADM by emailing them at eadm@marian.org or calling (877) 380-0727.

2. Make an appointment with your pastor and ask for his advice and support in starting a Divine Mercy cenacle at your parish.

3. Purchase the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the necessary cenacle formation manuals on ShopMercy.org or call 1-800-462-7426. The formation books are available in English or Spanish.

4. Spread the word. Talk to your friends and fellow parishioners about the Divine Mercy cenacle. Ask your pastor about advertising the cenacle in your parish bulletin.

5. Set a date for your first meeting and have copies of the Diary and the formation manuals for each attendee. Plan to meet weekly or bi-weekly.

6. Set an agenda for your meeting. Here's one example:
• 15 minutes: Song (praise and worship)
• 5 minutes: Prayers of gratitude
• 30-45 minutes: Follow the Formation Guidelines from the Formation Book, relating the teaching to your own lives, struggles, and spiritual walk
• 10 minutes: Prayers of petition
• 10 minutes: The Divine Mercy Chaplet
• 30-45 minutes: Social time/fellowship

7. After three to six months of meetings, pray and discuss with your parish priest about corporal and spiritual works of mercy the group can do to build up your local church, with a focus on the marginalized of today.

"When approaching the priest," Dr. Thatcher advises, "understand that some do not understand the message [of Divine Mercy]. However, mention that Scripture and the Catechism are part of the cenacle meetings, and that it has all been approved by the Church. Also, the priest does not need to attend the cenacle meetings, and there is no time commitment on his part. Everything is laid out in an orderly and easy to follow format in the cenacle manuals. But obedience to your pastor is most important, and God will open the doors when the time is right."

Visit TheDivineMercy.org/eadm/cenacle/cenacleinfo.php for more information.

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