Wowza! The scripture writers do not tread lightly I realized when reflecting on the scripture readings for this weekend. A couple lines highlighted here: “. . .for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines. . .all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” (Hebrews 12)
Many of us have our routine physical “workouts.” Going to the gym, or for a run or even just a walk We are often aware of the squeaky bones, sore muscles and need for rest after these physical workouts. Keeping our bodies active and in shape includes pain and hard work.
So, it is with our spiritual lives. We need to have “spiritual workouts.” This is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it is downright hard and takes a lot of discipline. In today’s fast paced and “I’m too busy,” world, sitting quietly with all devices turned off and “listening” to the God within is a workout of sorts. Hopefully an “exercise” that brings peace and perspective for our daily lives. The greatest source of prayer is Mass. It can be challenging to return to Mass after the hiatus the pandemic forced us to have. Yet, this is so important individually and as a faith community. Of course, except for the elderly and the ill who cannot physically attend.
As I prepare for another year of faith formation for all ages, I am reminded how challenging it is for us to take time out for God, to be involved and participate in the opportunities within our parish and to not rely on an “I’m too busy” mode of being or an “I don’t need that attitude.”
It is precisely when life gets to be so busy and our calendars fill up, we need to stop, reflect and be still in the presence of God. The physical discipline that is required for good health is essential. The spiritual discipline that is required for our spiritual health is essential. Endurance, not losing heart and not losing courage is asked of us as disciples of Christ.