It dawned on my today that practicing ones religion is like exercising. We go to the doctor, he or she ells us we need to exercise, it will make us feel better, and we proceed to ignore it.
Then usually after the third time the doctor tells you to do it, you give in. You start a program, whether it is a walking program, running, biking or going to a health club, you begin, find you like it an make it a habit. You notice a change, you feel better, you hae more energy and you can’t wait to go every day. But then something happens, here in the northeast it is usually winter, and you skip a session, then another and another. Pretty soon yo don’t exercise at all. You now you should, you know you need to do it, and you know you will feel better if you do it. Just like practicing religion.
Now that I have been going to Sunday Mass every week, I look forward to it. I can honestly say it is the highlight of my week. Even on nice days like today when I would much rather stay home, I take myself to church knowing I will feel better if I go. In fact a few weeks ago I missed mass and felt bad all week long. Like exercise, I know going will make me feel good, and it does. I have made going to Sunday mass a habit.
It’s the same with prayer. I pray every night and if for some reason I don’t, I feel bad, and make up for it the next day. My next “habit” will be to pray formally everyday, something like the “Liturgy of the Hours“. Right now my prayer is mostly informal and I want to formalize it. We also need to make living a Christian life a habit as well. We need to go out everyday and practice what we learn through those masses, prayers and scripture.
It doesn’t matter what religion you practice, it is all about living it every day, practicing it every day, believing in it every day. Like that exercise program, there will be days when you skip, but make sure you don’t skip too many times in a row or you will fall out of it. And that, like exercise, isn’t good for you health.