“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” -Joel 2:12-13 // “Eppure anche ora, dice il Signore, ritorna da me con tutto il tuo cuore, con il digiuno, il pianto e il cordoglio, strappa i tuoi cuori, non le tue vesti, e torna al Signore, tuo Dio. Per grazia e misericordia è lui, lento all’ira, ricco di gentilezza, che si accontenta di punire “. -Joel 2: 12-13
*Note: due to my new language learning goals, I will slowly be starting to write posts in English/Italian or Spanish/Italian…please don’t mind the many grammar mistakes that Google translate will bring us as I move from 1 word onward in the Italian language.
On this day of Thanksgiving, I look forward to explain some items that I learned to share with all of us life learners who happen to come upon this blog and find themselves learning about stress and where to avoid temptations:
Weight Loss through Faith and Prayer _ Weight Reduction with Catholic Resources
Notably, there are a few elements of interest:
- “You can live within normal and healthy weight limits if only you love God’s mercy more than you desire to punish yourself. Right now you use food to numb your emotional distress, and you fear that without using food and excess body fat as psychological defenses your life will be nothing but empty pain.”
- “Therefore, to overcome the habit of constantly reaching for something to deaden pain, endeavor to teach yourself to act in new ways through love. Recognize the urge to use food as a way to numb emotional pain, and hten return food to its proper place in your life: not as a psychological defense but as a holy gift of nutrition. This takes considerable conscious effort– still, it is all possible through graceful trust in God’s help and protection.
Moreover, the Catholic Church offers a centuries-old form of relaxation and emotional support: prayer.
The Devil (very much present: a greatest trick is to make humans believe that the devil does not exist and act negatively in our lives. It is often said that our amazing Lord has a perfect plan for our lives, but we must acknowledge with reverence that the devil is more powerful than us, and he has a plan that he absolutely intends for us to falsely rationalize and implement in our lives that will lead to our ruin). We must acknowledge that the devil exists in our imperfect lives if we are to face issues in our lives with an understanding of his power and a greater understanding of the greatest power that God maintains in all things.
There are three basic steps to changing unwanted behavior:
1. To know how ugly the behavior is and how destructive it is to yourself and to others.
2. To know the damage caused by the behavior.
3. To know the benefits of new and different behavior.
The fear of unwanted behavior’s consequences is not a sufficient motivation.
The hope of positive changes IS a sufficient motivation. This requires frequent daily meditation, speaking of positive changes in life with others and naming the struggles that you strive to overcome, seeking advice, and seeking Reconciliation (and spiritual direction from the priest during that time in the confessional) as often as necessary.
The great article advises us to use a method of meditation twice a day (or as needed, if more temptation exists):
- Enter a state of relaxation: a quiet setting and a restful posture.
- Create a negative mood state as you visualize harmful and disgusting effects of the unwanted behavior. (Body swelled and fat, muscles weakened, bones carrying too much excess weight, shortness of breath, cholesterol coating arteries and heart). After this has entered your mind fully, pray a ‘Hail Mary’.
- Contemplate how miserable and hopeless your life will be if this behavior doesn’t change. Think of yourself having trouble breathing, barely enduring physical work, think of your children suffering these consequences as a result of your implicit example of habits. Pray another ‘Hail Mary’.
- Consider the realities of Purgatory’s necessary cleansing for your poor choices here during life on earth: every unneccessary mouthful of food you have ever taken will be purged from you.
- Create a positive mood state to visualize beneficial effects of new, healthy behavior. You may want to make a point of calling out and rejecting any devil’s distractions of automatically thinking that your small action changes could ‘never build into your ideal health state’. These miracles are God’s territory and not always within our capacity to understand, but we must lead in faith by each small ‘insignificant’ action.
- Reinforce the positive mood state by seeing yourself as confident, healthy in appearance and interior functioning, relaxed and able to concentrate, free of frustration and tension, and as a positive influence on others. Enjoy a peaceful state of mind and deep sense of hope and love for others. Pray a ‘Hail Mary’.
- Memorize and repeat the following Truths to move great steps forward in the Lord’s plan:
“Lord, when grounded in prayer, I work calmly and confidently. Give me the grace to not let my self-confidence be bothered by small mistakes. In You, I can overcome all obstacles with total confidence.
- “In You, Lord, there are no “good” days or “bad” days, there is only love.”
- Finally, pray this wildly powerful prayer for the strength of God to be felt in this moment of temptation:
Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Through the grace of your purity, may this unclean habit cease. From habit and slavery, pray for my release: Hail Mary…
From anger, fear, and anxiety, pray for my release: Hail Mary…
For health and calm and peace, pray for me: Hail Mary…
For emotional sensitivity, pray for me: Hail Mary…
To be filled with all the fullness of divinity, pray for me: Hail Mary…
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that, by Christ redeemed, we choose to live in purity. Amen.
I will be praying this for my own protection (please keep me in your prayers), for friends J, C, P, C, D, A, B, C, E, M, R, L, I, M, L, E, B, H, D, M, T, T, K, D, A, T, M, M, A, J, J, J, H, L, K, J, E, B, P, A, C, P, D, M, K, J, F, L, B, T, A, M, M, F, L, A, L, A, R, C, M, T, A, M, C, L, L, K, L, E, A, S, K, M, L, L, M, K, B, S, G, E, B, F, C, A, A, C, L, L, L, S, A, A, A, K, J, M, K, J, V, J, J, C, M, K, S, C, K, M, M, T, R, J, E, S, L, J, A, F, J, B, G, J, J, E, M, A, H, C, E, C, and J who need the grace to view this area of their life realistically and as God intends (challenges fully included) and respond in God’s strength and positive action, and for the ever-increasing acts of holiness of our world…may I lead, God willing! Amen.