I am reading The Ignatian Workout for Lent by Tim Muldoon with a group of my friends. I’m not far into it, but it has already become something I look forward to reading.
In the introduction Muldoon talks about becoming a spiritual athlete by having spiritual workouts. He says, “Spiritual workouts, then, are about training ourselves to let go of false desires so that we can respond to God more freely. Only then can we love and serve God and God’s purposes in the world.”
Since July I have been physically training my body. Not for anything specific but in a desire to be fit and healthy. In the course of that training I let my spiritual exercises slip and get sloppy.
My goal now is to renew and deepen my spiritual exercising and keep up with the physical. I need to have balance and remember that a great physical body would be pointless if I lose my relationship with God.
This Lent I am striving to get back what I have lost in my spiritual life. It is by learning to discern the false desires that I know I will be able to serve where and how God asks me to.
The one question I ask myself often is why am I trying to be fit and healthy? Sometimes the answer is vanity but I’ve noticed when I go to work out thinking about vanity I am discouraged and distracted. When I go thinking about health, I have a better workout and am actually more motivated to push myself.
The spiritual exercises must also be undertaken for the right reasons. I am not trying to be spiritually fit to impress people but rather to find peace and joy. In my spiritual life I need the Eucharist both at Mass and in Adoration, some sort of reading, journaling, meditation, prayer alone, and time to talk to others about these things.
What do you need to be spiritually fit?
Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini