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What We Put in our Minds & Body Matters

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 What we put in our minds matters and what we put into our bodies matters. What we put into each, changes us. When you surround your mind with what we perceive as good and true and beautiful, it influences our desire to pursue that in life. St. Paul wrote about this in Philippians 4:8 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things".

So think about Jesus. Don't just think about Jesus, be Jesus. When we receive Eucharist, Jesus then resides in us. Total perfection becomes one with you. You are made perfect! This is the most profound union we can have with our God here on earth. Dr. Edward Sri makes the point as it relates to the mind, "When we come back to our pews after receiving Holy Communion, it is not the time to look around and see who's at Mass, or daydream about the football game in the afternoon, or develop our 'parking lot exit strategy'. And, it's certainly not appropriate to leave before Mass is over. This is the most intimate time we have with our God - to talk to him from the depths of our hearts. As he is lovingly dwelling within us, we should use these profound moments to tell him we love him, to thank him for blessings in our lives, to pour out our hearts to him with whatever may be troubling us, and to quietly rest in his love and listen to him."

Fill your mind with what matters so that the body follows.

A New Commandment

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Mandatum Novum—a new commandment.

This gospel passage, “I give you a new commandment, ” is one of my favorites.  The passage follows Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet on the night before Jesus died. Jesus, no doubt full of anguish, because he knew he was about to be betrayed and of his impending passion, gives them his last words of advice before taking up the cross. With all of the “stuff” our Lord has going on, he still has his mission to fulfill. Within moments, Judas will betray him. In a few short hours, Peter will deny him—not once, but three times! Yet, the Lord shows us yet another example of humility by washing feet.

We all have a mission to fulfill, and we all have “stuff” going on in our lives. The reading and re-reading of this passage gives me cause to think of how I am responding to everyday events in my life. Today is a good day for all of us to evaluate how the Lord’s new commandment is relevant in our lives.

Lord, grant us your humility, that even in our daily trials, to see the opportunities to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters. Let your Mandatum Novum be our Novus Via Vitae—new way of life.

A Prayer of Surrender

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Every day, I begin my day in prayer. The routine is very simple but well-rehearsed. It is the same prayer I have had for the last seven years. As part of my routine, I pray that I be the vessel by which the Lord fulfills His work. It is a prayer of surrender. I have lived my life in surrender to Jesus Christ since I was sixteen years old. When I get
that "feeling" it usually falls in line with a moment of change, a moment of conversion at the climax of surrender. We are meant to go through multiple conversions throughout a lifetime as we grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus by surrendering to His will. I recently had one of those moments that moved me deeper into conversion, resulting once again into surrendering. It is then that I started having that "feeling". I am now left waiting to see what the "feeling" is going to bring.

Many saints write about conversion and surrender as a pathway to holiness. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say, "We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say I love. We must put that love into a living action. And how do we do that? By giving until it hurts". This loving until it hurts is conversion. It is surrender because it is counter-cultural. St. Faustina brought us the depiction of surrender through the image of the Divine Mercy and the simple yet powerful prayer "Jesus, I trust in you!" Releasing oneself to the will of the Father is liberating yet terrifying.

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