One celebration after another that began on my wedding anniversary almost two weeks ago, I went on a detoxification diet last week to cleanse my body from all the toxins that I’ve put in it. Advocating sustainable living, I did it the natural way — eating fresh fruits and vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, homemade vegetable soup, pine nuts, herbal tea, and heaps of water.
For the first two days I was woozy from caffeine withdrawal and experienced some carb cravings, but decided to offer them up to God.
St. Josemaria Escriva wrote in The Forge, “Among the ingredients of your meal include that most delicious one, mortification.” His own practise was to include “a cross in every dish.” That is, to offer a small mortification in every meal. He gave the example of drinking water a little less often, and not commenting about the food. He would take a little less of what he liked or a little more of what he didn’t like so much. So in my case, more vegetables, less carb and sweets.
Since I had recently gone to confession, I decided to go a step further and to walk to the nearest Catholic church to hear Mass and back home afterward. It is just a short 10-minute walk each way (admittedly a bit longer the way back), which not only helps nourish my soul, but provides me with some exercise in the process. This, I have been able to do now that I work from home and though the daily Mass is a bit late, scheduled at 9am, I am able to manage my time and get my work done.
The walk home is at times under the heat of the sun and though it is still technically winter over here, the sun can be quite harsh at that time of the day. I pass about three convenience stores and the thought always crosses my mind to go into one to buy something to drink, to give myself a respite. The good thing about just hearing Mass and receiving Communion is that I am more in tune with God and able to resist such temptations. So when such thoughts go to my mind, I tread on and offer whatever discomfort I feel I offer up, too.
Temperance, after all, is a self-mastery and small sacrifices each day will help me someday overcome my weaknesses and acquire more of that virtue.
What about you, what little cross do you try to carry each day?