Thursday, March 1, 2007

ALL OF ME, WHY NOT TAKE ALL OF ME

The good news is that I was still able to genuflect today, though just barely.

A guy at the gym yesterday who knows that I am a priest asked what disciplines he might take on for lent. So we talked about it a little bit. Then he asked me what I was doing. “Partly,” I said, “is in being here.” Being a disciple of Christ is not a solely spiritual endeavor. Christ’s teaching and Church law are about making us become the best persons we can possibly be spiritually, mentally, and physically. Sin is anything that works against this.

We are a people of the incarnation. We are our bodies. They are tabernacles of the Eucharist and temples of the Holy Spirit. (A classmate of mine from the seminary used to promote this theme a lot but smoked like a chimney. When confronted with, “If the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, what’s with the smoking?” he replied, “I’m just incensing the temple.”) Part of being Christian is to take care of yourself as far as possible.

In the confessional when someone asks for assistance in confessing I always add, “Are you taking care of yourself? Eating right? Exercising? Getting enough sleep? Adorning the body modestly?”

The same goes for that in which we engage mentally. Saint Ignatius talks about reading profane things and how, though they may excite at the moment, there is a certain let down afterwards. And while the reading of spiritual things may be more challenging, the positive effect lasts and we have absorbed those things that will aid us in life rather than distracted us from it.

A report form the The University of California, Berkley states that Americans spend NINE TIMES as many minutes watching television than all leisure time physical activities combined! Is “American Idol” really that good of a show? In the time that it would take to watch two back-to-back episodes of “Law and Order” TWO HOLY HOURS of prayer, reading, and exercise could be accomplished. Most of lent is still ahead of us! Think where you could be spiritually because of your extra prayer, what you will have to talk about because of what you read, and how much better shape you’ll be in to mow the lawn and wash the winter salt off the car come spring. Glorify God in your body. Step away from the potato chips and pump iron for glory of God.

5 comments:

Rob said...

"In the time that it would take to watch two back-to-back episodes of “Law and Order” TWO HOLY HOURS of prayer, reading, and exercise could be accomplished."

Now, I am not a big TV watcher. I prefer my books.

BUT I CAN'T GIVE UP LAW AND ORDER, FATHER! Don't ask me to take on this penance, please!

Okay, I'll give up all the shows that don't have Lenny Briscoe. I'll give you that. But whatever you do, don't ask me to give up the Briscoe and Logan shows! Those are too good.

uncle jim said...

who?

sattvicwarrior said...

YOU SAID..
“If the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, what’s with the smoking?” he replied, “I’m just incensing the temple.”) .

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA THAT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUNNY!!!!! AND SOOOOOO TYPICAL OF THE MIND OF MAN. everything is rationalized to make it[ the mind] work, there is little difference between pleasure and pain, no matter what discipline [ spiritual or otherwise] is employed. Austerities can be just as much a TRAP as anything else.

Fr. V said...

Okay,

Let's be clear though - Law and Order is Okay - but NOT Criminal Intent and especially not the Special Vicitims Unit.

Rob said...

AGreed, father. Criminal Intent has great potential (Vincent D'Onofrio is underrated) but is poorly written. (*Note to CI writers: Letting everyone know who the killer is at the beginning of the show only works if you are a really good writer. Otherwise, stick to formula.)

And SVU is awful. Although I often write about twisted characters, week after week of child abuse on TV is just bad for you. Also, the people on the show increasingly remind me of poster children for the culture of death.

Ever notice how, in the 90's anyway, everybody on the show was a Catholic? (or ex-Catholic, rather.)