I heard they are called watershed moments when something big happens that catapults us to a new plateau of life. On the practical level it could be a new job or a wedding or childbirth, but those watershed moments can also happen with revelations. One evening when I was in college in Baltimore as I sat in my little nanny-apartment in the Fleisher house, such a moment happened that changed me forever after.
That was when I first met the many me’s. I don’t know if it was by the Holy Spirit or my guardian angel, but I suddenly realized, that I harbored my very own internal enemy. In those days and for years before, for one reason or another I was unhappy more often than I was happy. It suddenly occurred to me that the root cause was an internal enemy, so at that moment I vowed to recognize the enemy of me and pin it down, strangle it or do whatever I could to keep me from making me miserable. That was the day I won my first victory over my internal enemy. Identify, aim, fire. Splat.
After that, when I was very unhappy I would map myself out on a piece of paper, positioning points in quadrants surrounding the core of me all the positive and negative influences on the state of my soul. This visual map made it easier to site the internal enemy, and the external enemies. I could then determine what I could control and what I couldn’t control. Most of all, I was able to control my attitude. I made an effort to receive the peace that Christ always offers, by trusting God, the Father, as He did.
That’s how I learned to drive myself happy.
Being a disciple-in-training takes perspective. It takes the ability to master emotions, attitudes, and even diet. Fasting is an excellent exercise to build spiritual muscle mass. When we tell our body what it can eat, e.g. vegan-for-a day, then we are practicing sitting in the driver’s seat of self. God likes that and sometimes rewards us for such fasts, not to mention the tremendous privilege of receiving communion. Whether or not your church requires fasting before communion, try it and see how much more powerful the eucharistic experience can be!
Learn ways to place your mind and body in submission. This way you free-up your heart to be a true disciple (student) of Christ.
Peace, joy, love,