Ok, so what follows completely proves I am a nerd. A Catholic geek. (And I’m proud of it, too!)
Have you ever heard of Whole 30? The 30-day diet that eliminates all dairy, grains, sugars, and even certain types of oils and vegetables?
I tried it for the month of October, and immediately afterwards, I thought, there has to be some sort of spiritual equivalent to this type of regimen. Instead of asking, “What can I eliminate from my diet so that I can achieve optimal health?” I asked, “What things are part of my life, but are obstacles to a deeper union with Christ, or even to salvation itself?”
If I could be so strict with my diet for just 30 days, could I be just as strict with limiting obstacles to grace for the 40 days of Lent?
If you haven’t heard of Whole 30, this post might not make complete sense to you, but hopefully you can still get the gist of my crazy, nerdy thoughts.
I kept the format similar to the Whole 30 manual, so you can see what I thought could be equivalents to the foods eliminated in that diet.
So here I present: Soul 40 (in honor of Lent!)
Soul 40: Eliminating hindrances to the Spiritual Life and working towards the goal of Genuine Love of God and Neighbor
Sugars: Self-Indulgent Foods (food for taste, not nutrition: junk food, fast food, soft drinks)
Dairy: Self-Indulgent Distractions (Entertainment, including TV, movies, social networking, magazines, blogs)
Grains: Bad habits of self-importance and pride. No swearing, hostility, seeking revenge, making threats, holding grudges, gossip, competitive behavior.
Include a balance of:
Protein: Prayer, Meditation, Spiritual Reading (Time spent with God) (Love of God)
Vegetables: Love of neighbor, service
Fruits: Good habits/Practicing virtue
Good Fats: Mass and the Sacraments
Herbs, Spices and Flavorings: Pursuing varied hobbies, talents, interests
Drinks: Practice living in the Presence of God
Could you imagine following this kind of plan for 40 days???? Actually, I think the religious at our chapel do this…every year!!! (Please pray for us, dear brothers and sisters!!)
(By the way, I will not be sharing what I’m actually going to give up for Lent, for the sake of keeping it between me and God, as Jesus asked us to do when He told His followers to fast in secret, and that His Father will see it in secret.)
I wish you a profitable, blessed Lent!
P.S. By “fun”, I mean it was fun to write this, not that it would actually be “fun” to do it!!