“He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease.” -John 3:30
Will You Join Me?
For nearly twenty years, up until 2001, the Army appealed to potential recruits with the very compelling slogan, “Be All You Can Be!” My thoughts went back to that old Army motto as I was watching the Olympics and saw the new Nike commercial that invites viewers to “Find Your Greatness.”
Matthew Kelly puts ‘Find Your Greatness’ this way: “You were born to become the-best-version-of-yourself. This is your essential purpose. Embrace this one solitary truth and it will change your life more than anything you have ever learned. In every situation, ask yourself, ‘Which of the options before me will help me become the-best-version-of-myself?’
Kelly goes on to say, “The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage. Courage animates us, brings us to life, and makes everything else possible. Fear stops more people from doing something with their lives than lack of ability, contacts, resources, or any other single variable. Fear paralyzes the human spirit. Life takes courage.”
As many of you may know, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has called for a “Year of Faith,” which begins this October 11, 2012. I would like to invite you to join me in a kind of “campaign of courage” … the courage to become Fully Alive as a child of God as we explore together what it means to become ‘the-best-version-of-yourself!’
As the newest Army slogan invites potential recruits to be, not just strong, but ‘Army Strong’ … this is a challenge to not just be Army Strong but GOD STRONG!
Pope John Paul II’s ‘Training in Holiness’
At the beginning of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II made his clarion call for us to put aside all fear and pursue daring apostolic goals that are rooted deeply in prayer. This is a call to return to our first priority, the Universal Call to Holiness. Thus, he called for pastoral initiatives that would focus on “Training in Holiness” and “Schools of Prayer.”
According to Pope John Paul II, holiness means to set before us the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Mt 5:48).” It is, quite literally, a striving to become ‘the-best-version-of-yourself!’
Jesus tells us that the greatest of all commandments is to “… love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). These mark the four aspects of the human person that are key to being fully alive:
- Physical (see Matthew Kelly’s brief description here)
- Emotional (see Matthew Kelly’s brief description here)
- Intellectual (see Matthew Kelly’s brief description here)
- Spiritual (see Matthew Kelly’s brief description here)
The Physical Foundation
In the days and weeks ahead of the Year of Faith (beginning Oct. 11), we will prepare to begin our campaign of physical fitness, emotional fitness, intellectual fitness and spiritual fitness.
However, Matthew Kelly reminds us: “Physical well-being is the foundation upon which we build our lives. Unless we attend to our legitimate needs in relation to the physical aspect of our being, our capacity in all other areas of our life will be reduced.” In other words, when we are physically sluggish, we end up sluggish in our approach to our emotional, intellectual and spiritual fitness. Conversely, the discipline to increase our physical health and energy gives us the vitality we so desperately need to invest ourselves into emotional, intellectual and spiritual health.
Therefore, like 12-year-old Nathan in the Nike commercial, our first step will be to focus our energy on our physical health and well-being. That’s why we are taking the time here, in advance of the Year of Faith, to get everyone “up and running” (literally).
My next post is entitled, “Get Fit with Father Rick” (click here). For those who live close by, I have taken the time to talk with the good people at the Princeton Club, and I will take the time to contact other area health clubs. In the post, Get Fit with Father, you will find information about discounts being made available for our God Strong Challenge, as well as an opportunity to join a circuit training class with me (Fr. Rick) twice a week, for a nicely discounted price.
Get on our email list
Look for a future email that will ask for you to sign on to be a part of this “God Strong Challenge.”
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