Monday, June 3, 2013


Friends of Faith:

Exercise—oh how I hate that word. I’d much rather not do it, and I keep hoping someone else will do it for me than so that I don’t have to do it myself.
On the flip side, I love to eat: all I can, whenever possible. It seems to be my favorite recreation. I am always inventing reasons to eat out and trying new things to eat in my kitchen.

But we all know what happens when we eat and don’t exercise. We get fat, not healthy. Instead of the food I am eating becoming the nutrition which energizes and strengthens, I become sluggish, lack endurance and become weak.
And vice-versa for some who exercise whenever possible, but starve themselves physically. They too are unhealthy.

It’s a delicate balance. Most of us struggle at some time with the balance and very few are perfectly balanced all or even most of the time.
He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves." They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand… Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets. Lk 9: 13-17

And the balance between eating and exercising is very much like the balance we need in our spiritual lives—between being present and fed by Christ’s word and food each week in the Eucharist and by the way we exercise the faith we profess when we walk outside the walls of the church.
By just exercising our “goodness” as a person without being nourished spiritually we will be left unfulfilled and wanting. To say we have faith and to do good without attending Church and receiving the promise of the Eucharistic food we will be left weak and sluggish—without enough Spirit to move us forward.

And vice-versa, by just eating the food of the Eucharist and not exercising His message I won’t be entirely healthy, because this was not God’s intention for us as a community of well fed Christians.

Unlike earthly food which becomes more like us, God’s food (the Eucharist) is intended to make us more like Him. His nourishment should spiritually strengthen us and better equip us to exercise of our faith though the gifts he has given us in our talents and through His graces. Instead of being taken in, He is in us to take us out—to show His glory to the world by the way we live.
But just like exercise, we have to do something to make that happen, to use the nourishment (the faith) He gives us.

Heavenly Father, in the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, by His Body and Blood given to us as our everlasting food, at the Last Supper, and by His death on the cross (exercise) you have shown us perfect balance in word and deed. Help me to learn to balance my life. May the fulfillment I receive by Your food (Eucharist and Scripture) be multiplied by the faithful exercise of Your presence in my life. Thank you for the promise of fulfillment in the rewards of heaven.  Amen.
Exercise in the Spirit, eat and be filled by the Body of Christ, be balanced by a perfect God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)—the perfect unending trinity.


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