Dig Deep

12 Mar

“Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves.  What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation.”  ~ Catherine Doherty

I was in the seminary when the Soloflex No Pain, No Gain ads first came out.  They featured well-chiseled models at different equipment as if to promise that you, too, could have the buff body of an athlete if you just used their equipment.  They conveyed that hard work was important in order to gain what one wanted.  And their ads worked.  Soloflex equipment was delivered to many households.  Gyms around the country featured Soloflex equipment as well.  After all, if you used that equipment, you, too, could be transformed into a model.

I am not mocking the ads.  Far from it.  I believed the ads were brilliant.  When they first came out, I thought to myself that whoever brought that ad campaign through to it completion was going to make big bucks because it resonated with many people while speaking the truth:  there is no gain without a good amount of sacrifice.

The theme of Lent could very well be “No Pain, No Gain.”  Lent calls us to dig deeply into ourselves and identify what keeps us from God.  Then it challenges us to rid ourselves of those things — as Doherty states, to “relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation” — so that we can replace it with all that is from God.

That is a painful process.  Even though we know that sin keeps us from God, the temptations to which we often succumb are familiar and comfortable.  That is why we fall for them.  To rid ourselves of them is a real challenge.  It’s like telling a good friend that we can no longer have anything to do with that person.

St. Paul wrote that the Spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.  While acknowledging that truth, he also instructed the early Christian community to do all that it could to root out that which kept it from God.

Jesus went through His own No Pain, No Gain moment.  He accepted and endured the awful agony of the cross so that He could gain salvation for our souls.  Knowing that, how can we not do all that we can to draw closer to Him.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t be afraid to dig deep within in order to root out that which keeps you from God.

Remember, Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence from meat and meat products