Lately things have been coming together to try to shake me out of my denial regarding my weight problem. Not that it's anything new; I've had a weight problem, sometimes worse, sometimes better, for about thirty-five years.
But lately, what I think what has always been an emotional difficulty, namely my overeating, seems to me also a spiritual block. And I'm hoping that this realization is the Providence that will help me to do something about it. Not that I haven't tried to do anything before; I have had periods of regular exercise as an adult, as well as some interesting nutritional experiments in the late 90s and early 00s. Nevertheless, especially since entering the Capuchins, the weight gain has been steady. I estimate that since I entered the Capuchins fifteen years ago, I have gained fifty pounds. And I wasn't so thin when I entered either.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. (Luke 1:53)
I pray those words every single day during Evening Prayer, in Mary's Magnificat. If on account of my overeating I never experience hunger, how can I hope for the grace that Mary sings? If I am never hungry, how can I identify with, pray well for, or hope to serve the poor with whom I have supposedly united myself by my vow of poverty?
The hegumen of a monastery asked Abba Poemen, “How can I acquire the fear of God?” Abba Poemen said to him, “How can we acquire the fear of God when our belly is full of cheese and preserved foods?”
Indeed. And yet one of the graces of my current situation is that living with the friars in Italy is generally a better nutritional situation than living with the friars in the States. So I pray to take advantage of that.
So I ask your prayers in responding to the graces I have described, that I might finally address, gently and well, the physical issue and spiritual block of my weight problem. I thought of starting a whole new blog about it, but maybe not. This blog has been about all sorts of different things, so why not this? I would appreciate your thoughts on the question of a new blog or not.