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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day Eight of Lent

In my attempts to better understand the Catholic faith and my own journey converting, I'll be spending this Lent doing a daily reflection of things I've learned. The faith encourages reflections on subjects like this (even the Pope reflects!) so I figure I'll reflect through writing. As always, my understanding of this is noobish so forgive any wrong conclusions and do feel free to correct me where needed. Here we go.

Well, it's officially been one week since Ash Wednesday and the blackbook today asks to check up on our plans for Lent. How are things going on that front?

I've stayed away from the comfort foods and I'm feeling better because of it. The weight is coming off but that was always a secondary goal; the first was to use the time away from the comfort food to gain a greater understanding of the Lord. It's not been easy devoting time to study but I'm doing it, slowly.

I can't say I have any major revelations other than, perhaps, my relationship with God isn't nearly as adversarial as I thought. I've always had the feeling that its been a push/push thing with us. One of us pushes, the other pushes back, ect.

Now I'm wondering whether or not it wasn't so much a push from God as it was a nudge.

The blackbook talked today about how God loves us and how he knows us better than anyone. I have a lot of difficulty imagining that. Love ... love is a confusing, strange, infuriating, irrational, all-encompassing and stubborn emotion. I only know that from observation.

There are many different kinds of love and I, of course, tend to focus on the romantic kind. But here is a love that's not romantic but rather family. There's a reason God is called 'God the Father' and I think one of those reasons is because his love is that of a parent to a child.

My parents, and all parents out there I imagine, deal with that love every day. Where the child does something incredibly stupid or acts insanely stubborn and they put up with it. They deal with it. They love.

Familial love is a love that comes in many different strengths ... sort of like alcohol. Some is really weak. Some is really strong.

I'm lucky enough in my life to have a few families and their love is strong. My love for them is strong, but in the case of my biological family, it's frustrating. I'm not good at A) hiding that frustration and B) expressing it in a way that isn't confrontational.

That's something I'm working on this Lent and will address in more direct fashion in the coming weeks.

Now, I won't deny God loving me because, let's be honest, if he didn't I would have died a dozen times over at least from something stupid I've done. Plenty of opportunities to snuff me out, take me to the afterlife and berate me for being an idiot.

I've been of the opinion -- and still am to an extent -- that God finds great amusement in my life. Which is why it's so strange. The stranger it is, the funnier it is. I'm also of the opinion that he tends to like to stick me in situations where I can learn things ... but they're situations which tend to break certain ideas I have into a million little pieces and that leaves me grasping for something. Anything.

It's how I decided to lose weight. It's how I decided to go Catholic. I reached a point in the situation I was in where something had to give; either I opened myself up to a new idea or cling onto what I know in the hope it'll work out.

I'm resistant to change in a lot of parts of my life. I'm still attached to my geeky graphic t-shirts (I need to invest in boring ones but I just hate the idea of t-shirts that say nothing). I'm still unwilling to junk my old laptop (it works, but not as well as it used to and it's a beast to carry around). I won't get rid of my barrel fan (despite it not working some days). I'm a sentimentalist.

But there comes a point where one must change. It's the nature of human existence and to deny it is to deny your nature and the fullest existence you can have.

I've invested in multiple jackets, of different kinds (I used to have just one). I do Pilates now (after avoiding exercise of many kinds for years). I just bought things that might help tighten the loose skin around my midsection on Amazon (after considering the options for two years). I can change, it just takes time and I'm slow. I'm not as slow as I once was, but I'm still slower than everyone else.

Whether that's a function of a character flaw or merely a function of my personal nature is unknown. 

God knows me better than anyone else, so says the blackbook. I generally believe this but I don't really know myself that well. I hope I'm good. Whatever person I am, I hope I'm a good one but I can't be sure.

But God knows me. I suppose if I wasn't a good one or didn't have the potential to be a good one, I'd have been snuffed by now.

Thanks for reading, folks. God Bless.

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