In the last few weeks, parishioners asked me what am I doing to lose weight? (probably, not knowing that I am training for a marathon). I have received comments like, “Father you look thinner”. My secret is not only being disciplined at my training but the title of this reflection: I am eating smaller portions and I am doing more exercise, both physical and spiritual.
Something that is helping me to get fit is the combination of spiritual exercises with physical exercise. For the spiritual fitness, I celebrate the Mass focusing on importance to live every single second of the Eucharist; I want to be 100% concentrated during the Mass because I get distracted very easily. In the same way, when I go for adoration; I pray the liturgy of the hours and the holy rosary. Also, I finished yesterday the program: http://www.exodus90.com, but I am still on the move with the practices of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For physical fitness, I am going to the gym more often (doing the step climber most of the time, see picture below); I do hiking and jogging and I play soccer and basketball. In addition, I plan to ride my bike more often (even though I don’t have the big belly shown in the cartoon picture created by a parishioner as a happy birthday card, I plan to ride my bike anyways).
For me, there is no way to be completely fit without combining these two aspects: the physical and the spiritual. The last couple of years, I have been trying to discipline myself to lose weight unsuccessfully. This time, my long term goal is to maintain my weight after the marathon. Please do not offer me too many sweats. I know that I have the support of my people. The people of God are witnesses of what I am doing for his glory. I will keep running with perseverance, even knowing that I do not like to run… Then I would be able to say the same very words of St Paul: “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. Hb 12, 1
Certainly, I will eat less, I will pray more. By the way, I feel that every step in my training is a prayer… Let us keep praying for each other…