faith, inspiration

A Lesson from the Missionaries of Charity #BISsisterhood Link Up

Praying the rosary isn’t all that hard, but it isn’t all that easy if you are prone to distractions and kneeling on a wood floor.

When I was 15, a group of young girls from my church all loaded in a van with a chaperone and our parish priest and took a “nun run” to visit the Missionaries of Charity (MC) in our state. It was mid-July, a season when most air conditioners would be running full steam ahead.

As soon as we entered the house where the MC’s lived, we noticed the barren appearance and the heat. The MC’s make it a mission to live like the people they serve. I’m sure even the people they served in this area had A/C, but the MC’s did not. What they also lacked was furniture. So for 20 minutes we all kneeled (even the sisters, some of whom had to be at least 70 years old) on the hard, wood floor. Several of our group were wearing shorts and how misfortunate that day…When you’re praying for 20 minutes on the hard, wood floor with no A/C in the middle of July in the South your knees start to slide apart.

Once we were nearing the end of the rosary, we all felt relief that we could sit soon. You see, the MC’s had brought out folding chairs just for us. However, once we ended the rosary and all of us were about to take our seats the lead nun began saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. By that point, one member of our group who had a broken tailbone took the opportunity to sit down. As we all looked at each other, we admitted defeat and sat as well.

We learned a lot that day. We learned that sometimes you just have to grin and bear it to grow in holiness. We also learned that sweaty knees and wood floors don’t mix. Most of all we witnessed the joy that comes from a life completely lived for Christ and that rejecting modern-day luxuries can lead to a more full and lasting peace than having A/C and a house full of furniture.

“People who love each other fully and truly are the happiest people in the world. They may have little, they may have nothing, but they are happy people. Everything depends on how we love one another.”   -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Linking up for a post about the Communion of Saints with the #BISsisterhood.

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faith

How running is benefitting my prayer life

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Running.  In my opinion, one of the most mentally challenging sports.  Requiring more mental stamina than a 10-hour chess match, philosophy, and watching boring documentaries in class combined.  This is the sport I love to hate.  As a soccer player from age 4-14 I am aware of at least 10 different ways to punish kids using running.  Sprints, line drills, laps, and then when you’re done with that, how ’bout you run some more?…for the sport, you know.  This is how my hatred of running began. However, in my 23rd year of life I have decided that running can build self-discipline, mental endurance, and the reason most people run– for the pure enjoyment fitness benefits.

I want to want to run.  If that makes sense.  The first few times I ran I absolutely hated it, did not enjoy it one ounce.  Now that I am running more often it isn’t as tiring, but as long as it took to get to this point it only takes about 1 week of not running to lose some of that distance and stamina.  

I’m talking about running, but the topic I’m really trying to get to is mental endurance/ self-discipline.  As my running increases, my self-discipline increases and consequently I feel better about myself and can make myself do things I don’t want to do. When I see a pile of dishes and I really don’t want to do them (and want to blog/text/eat/do anything else instead) I can tell that little voice inside my head no.  For me, the whole time I’m running there is a little voice inside my head saying “you’re tired, you can’t breathe, that hill is steep, did you just step on dog poop?”…you get the idea.  So the whole time I’m running, I’m practicing my self-discipline and I’m learning to master that crazy, no-good, pessimistic voice inside my head. 

Unintended benefits of running: higher self-esteem, greater self-discipline, higher level of fitness, and better prayer life…

Yes. Better prayer life. You heard right.  When I don’t feel like praying, that pessimistic voice inside my head is quelled by me and my self-discipline.  Gained from running, I counter that voice with the knowledge that God is waiting for me to talk to him. Even though I may not feel like praying, I know I should and so I do.

Thank you, running, dreaded sport you are for helping me achieve higher self-esteem, self-discipline, and a better prayer life.

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