Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Food for thought

It is no secret that one of the sins I struggle with most is gluttony, because gluttony is one of those sins that very few people can hide. As I read The Path to Confession and a health book I picked up at the library recently I was relatively surprised to find a common declaration between the two. One is a holy book meant to help me to understand confession and the sins I should confess and the other is meant to help me to establish better habits and show why and how.

Excerpt from Food Smart! By Cheryl Townsley (btw, this is a very good book):

“Knowing when to eat is as important as setting aside enough time to eat. The body operates on a schedule, whether we are aware of it or not…one part of the body cycle is this…8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. is assimilation time. Food is absorbed and used during this part of the cycle. Food should not be eaten at this point. All of us have eaten a late-night meal. The next morning we feel extremely fatigued. The reason is because during the nighttime cycle, the body is supposed to be absorbing nutrients and repairing the system from daily wear and tear. Eating during this period robs the body of energy necessary to absorb and digest nutrients. Digestion is a very energy intensive mechanism. The body has little time for healing and rest while it’s digesting. When the body has to digest food during this digestion-absorption cycle, the person feels tired.”

I really thought this to be interesting and wanted to find out where this lady got her information but couldn’t really find anything more online about our body’s cycles. But it made sense to me…it could be an endless cycle for those of us who like to snack while watching TV at night.

Then weeks later I opened up The Path to Confession and this from a completely different perspective:

“The harmful habit of eating too much brings many misfortunes upon people: overweight, laziness and sluggish thinking. Nightmares, or not being able to sleep at all, are often the result! How difficult it is to get up in the morning for those who eat late at night, who don’t just snack but stuff themselves with a hearty meal. Because of gluttony we sleep away the priceless unrepeatable morning with its clear, quiet sky, lovely sun and joyful birdsong.”

Aren’t they saying the same thing? One from a health standpoint and the other from a spiritual standpoint.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Envy Masquerades Itself

Ever since I became a mother and homemaker I’ve been fighting with gloomy feelings. I feel like something isn’t right but I can’t put my finger on it. I usually blame it on depression and/or being overwhelmed with so much responsibility. That seemed the most logical to me. And maybe to a certain extent that is what it is. BUT, as I read “The Path to Confession” with Kelsey Anna (my 8 year old who is preparing for her first confession this Lent) something else was revealed to me. Here is what I read:
”The defilement of envy is one of the most disgraceful of all human sins, and enviers are undoubtedly the slaves of an impure spirit. It is said that every human passion leaves its stamp upon a man’s face. The mark of envy is that it sucks the joy of life out of a Christian, leaving his face pale and sometimes even tinged a sickly shade of green.” And then later says, “You all sense how close envy and anger are—they are brother and sister, and their father is the devil himself. Perhaps envy has plunged some of our readers into meanness, dissatisfaction and fruitless complaining, making them unhappy and resentful of life itself?” Could the deep core of my gloomy feelings be envy? I’m beginning to think it is. I always thought that envy was simply wanting something else that someone else had. And as long as I knew I really didn’t want that persons new SUV or that persons huge wardrobe or a big fancy house (because I have no desire to have those things) that I really wasn’t envious of anything or anybody. BUT…I really think that at some point in my life the sin of envy buried itself so deep in my heart that it is rearing its ugly little head in ways that are completely unrecognizable to me. As a young girl I can say without a doubt that I was envious of those kids who had what I perceived to be everything. And as an adult I can think back and remember times where I was definitely envious of others. But I had no idea that “envy” in it’s full definition was “A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.”(definition from I don’t think I am envious of any one specific object or person and I think that is why I have been so blinded from what now seems so obvious. But “Discontent?” and “Resentment?” I think those both abound in me at times. What do I do when I am “gloomy”…I daydream about living near my mom, because then I won’t be so lonely. I daydream about when all my kids are in school all day so I have more time to myself. I daydream about lots of different things that are completely impossible for me to do because I have 4 small children to take care of. Am I resentful? It kind of sounds like it! But a few days ago I would have said…”NO WAY!!! I love my kids! I wouldn’t trade them for the world.” And I still do, that hasn’t changed and never will. But maybe deep down inside I resent them for stopping me from doing what I want to do. Am I discontented with the vocation God has chosen for me?

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner! This hurts! But I know it’s there now…I can confess it (again and again, I’m sure.) and ask God for strength to fight against it…DAILY.

“The Path to Confession” goes on to say, “Do you want to be healed of this vile feeling? Try to always be pleased and grateful to the Lord for what you have without daydreaming about things that haven’t been given to you.”

The first thing I know I need to do is confess! But after that I will begin a journal…a journal of Thanksgiving to the Lord. May God reveal to me so much more through the blessings that I know I receive on a daily basis.

Thank you, Merciful Lord!