Tuesday, 8 March 2011
6 week Spiritual Fitness Programme
Hi All ! Tomorrow we begin the great season of Lent. Lent is a very special time in the Church year, in which we take some time to get spiritually fit through a renewed effort to live the two great commandments Jesus gave us: Love the Lord Your God with ALL YOUR HEART, ALL YOUR MIND and ALL YOUR STRENGTH and love your Neighbour as yourself. So how do we do this ???
The traditional methods encouraged by the Church are fasting, prayer and almsgiving. The purpose of these is to help us enter into a deeper relationship with God and our Neighbour (remembering that 'Neighbour' extends beyond those who live next door!!).
Fasting allows us to become conscious of what we take into our bodies recognising that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. By controlling what we consume for a few weeks we enter, also, into solidarity with those in the world who have little to eat or drink on a daily basis. Fasting allows us to develop a deeper focus and sense of clarity, which we can bring to our prayer and good works.
Prayer is simply conversation with God. When we meet with our friends and family we talk, share, listen with them and them with us. To pray is to work on developing a relationship with Jesus Christ our God, Brother AND friend so that we can take some time to talk with Him, share with Him and listen to Him.
Alms giving really refers to reaching out to those who are in need and God knows their are plenty. However you do this is entirely up to you and your own personal circumstances. The important thing is to reach out in an effort to move beyond ourselves opening our world to somebody else.
So we have six weeks to work on getting spiritually fit. It is important to remember, as we start out, that Lent is essentially a time of joy. Jesus tells us that when we fast we should do it joyfully the same applies for prayer and reaching out. As with all fitness programmes it's important to take some time to plan what we are going to do, some time to reflect and review how it's going and very important to take time to joyfully encourage ourselves, and others, when times get though.
So I wish you all every blessing this Lent. Whatever we do, no matter how small it may seem, is guaranteed to bear abundant fruit in our lives and the lives of others as long as we build our observances on a firm foundation... Jesus Christ. We do all for Him, Through Him and With Him