Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cheers! Here's to a Healthy Soul!

Chances are, St. Nick isn’t the only one carrying around a few extra pounds this time of year. With the feeding frenzy that begins by way of Thanksgiving and doesn’t taper off until the bubbles in our New Year’s champagne stop fizzing, some of us get more than we wish for over the Yuletide season.

Is it any wonder so many folks make losing weight a priority come the New Year?

God certainly wants us to take care of our body. Getting enough sleep, exercising, fueling ourselves with healthy food are ways to honor our bodies, which God has given us as “temple[s] of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Yet, while focusing on healthy lifestyle changes is important and certainly never hurt anyone, the way we look, the number on the scale and our physical health aren’t the only things we should be resolving to improve.

This New Year, as I did last year, I find myself asking, “How is the health of my soul?” (Besides as a woman who is in her sixth month of pregnancy, I certainly don't want to add "lose five pounds" to my list of resolutions when my goal is to grow a healthy baby and subsequently grow my waistline!)

Anyone who’s jumped on the weight loss bandwagon knows that shedding pounds requires discipline. Having a strong spiritual life really is no different. Our faith is a gift of God, but it’s not something we can ignore or get lazy about and then just expect to flourish. Christ is always with us, but we have to put forth some effort to develop a more intimate relationship with him.

An athlete’s muscles get bigger and more sculpted when he or she spends more time in the gym. So, too, must we “pump up” our souls and give them what they need to be healthy and strong.

How? By regularly participating in the sacraments, engaging in daily prayer, reflecting on scripture, spending time with the Lord in the Adoration Chapel, and showing love to our family and our neighbors are a few ideas for specific faith resolutions that first popped into my mind. (We'd love to hear your own spiritual goals for 2009!)

So this New Year, won't you join me and instead of emphasizing only exercise and healthy noshing (you can go ahead and stop obsessing over having scarfed down way too many Christmas cookies now), why not make the commitment to train yourself in godliness and to be extra aware of not only the health of your body, but also of your soul?

Happy New Year! May 2009 bring all of you many blessings!

“Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8)


Hobo Mama said...

Thanks for the reminder to put some work into it. "Soul training" is definitely on my list this year. My husband and I lead a small group where we try to be more like Christ through setting little, achievable (hopefully!) goals and offering each other feedback. It's been really helpful to keep in mind weekly the way God wants each of us to be growing. Even so, I feel like I need to concentrate more on other basics as well, like prayer.

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