Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food for the Soul

Blessed Pope John XXIII
During an RCIA session I was teaching on the Eucharist, I commented that my mother told me when I was a boy, "you are what you eat." I was trying to make the point that partaking in frequent Communion is a good thing, that by receiving the body and blood of our Lord, we can't help but become more like Him. In the middle of that talk, I had this thought: if I am what I eat, does that make me a potato? You see, I've never met a potato dish I didn't like.

I had an epiphany during our parish lenten mission. The speaker, Father Thomas McDermott, O.P., closed out one of the sessions by challenging us to pray about the one thing that was getting in the way of our spiritual growth. I was immediately hit with the thought that my weight has inhibited my ability to do more in the service of God and my fellow man. This was my biggest obstacle to getting closer to Christ.

So this realization has added a spiritual spin to my weight loss journey. I have now included prayer in asking for help in my weight loss.  I know losing weight will not come without difficulty, but those challenges will be opportunities to offer it up

I have searched for a patron saint for the weight challenged; there is none. I have two thoughts on potential patrons for those of us who are overweight: St. Thomas Aquinas and Blessed Pope John XXIII. There is some debate about whether or not St Thomas was obese, but there is no question that Pope John XXIII was. I have chosen him to intercede for me in my fight to get fit. I even have a picture of him as my wallpaper on my phone.

I now have a higher purpose for losing weight -- not to look good, but to be healthier so I can serve our Lord better. 

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