Sunday, August 31, 2008

Be Transformed!

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect
Romans 12:1-2

How I am FED by the Word of God!

As Kate mentioned in the previous post, we Catholics truly feast on the Body and Blood of Our Lord each time we receive the Eucharist. The altar of God is the ultimate banquet table, and He will never be outdone as the Gracious Host, serving us all we can ever need or desire.

We share with our Christian brothers and sisters of all faiths the beautiful words of scripture as well. Isn't it interesting how often we use words that reflect hunger, thirst, and being fed when we talk about our spiritual needs? I was touched today at Mass when I heard the above scripture, especially because it mentions not our souls, but our BODIES and our MINDS.

Does God care only for our spiritual needs? The Albigensian Heresy of the twelth century promoted this belief. Followers contended that the body was evil: the soul was the only good created by God, all else of creation was of the Evil One. Adherents of the sect even practiced self-starvation, as suicide was commendable.

We Christians know today that God created the world, and it was GOOD. That includes our bodies and our minds.

For those of us who struggle with body image and obsessions with food and weight loss or gain, these scriptures are particularly powerful. God asks us to "offer our BODIES as a living sacrifice." That means that God does, indeed, care about our physical bodies, and He desires us to give him dominion over them. He has given us our bodies as a gift; they deserve our respect and esteem. Because He has also given us free will, He, in His infinite humility, asks us if we will use our bodies to give Him glory.

How can we accomplish this? By indulging in gluttony? By disregarding our health? By starvation? By acquiescing to cultural standards rather than seeking balance? By obsessing over our weight?

Our Lord also asks us to "be transformed by the renewal" of our MINDS. This is one of my favorite verses, because it reminds me that all change begins in my secret thoughts. My behavior will not be positive and healthy if my thoughts are toxic. Am I constantly thinking about my body and how I wish it were different? Or are my thoughts focused on God and the wonderful gifts He has blessed me with?

This morning when I went to Mass I had a bad attitude. I was focused on myself, and my thoughts were negative. Once again the Holy Spirit spoke to me through the Word of God: I have been blessed by Him; and He wishes to continue to bless me.

I need only cooperate with His grace and mercy.

No comments: