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"Therapy for the Soul" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: By Juan Mendez (2018), Pexels.com, CC0/PD[/caption] What has been a long, dreary snowless winter in my part of Missouri has turned into a long, dreary snowless spring as I looked out the window two days before Lent begins and wondered if the weather will every change and get pretty. The outside looks too much like what I perceive my soul to be right now: dreary, uninspired without much hope of improving. Having received a brand-new knee just seven weeks ago, I admit I've been excusing myself from too much spiritual reviving lately since my days have mostly been spent trying to revive knee muscles that had gone into retirement and work up the energy it took to do my physical therapy several times a week. But as I sat at my desk at work in our parish office, working on Lenten meditations that I would be sending out over the next forty days to members of our church, I realized I really needed to get my own act together if I hoped to inspire anyone else! So as I worked on sorting through pictures to Instagram and meditations to tweet, I finally found some of these things soaking into my own soul, if not through any effort of my own then at least through osmosis! And I realized how much I had let my spiritual life slip to the rear of my personal army. When did I forget to smile? When was the last time I reminded myself not to judge others? And worst of all, why did anger so easily slip into my top three moods of the day? Not just did my knee need an entire revision, my inner self was crying out for therapy too. So I began pulling out all my resources and doing some reading and remembering that life was not all about me. Doing therapy with a gimp knee may lead you down that detour, but you aren't supposed to stay on that road. It was high time I got myself back on the interstate of love! "Therapy for the Soul" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2020 Lisa Simmons. All rights reserved.[/caption] Getting to Mass: For seven weeks it had been hard for me to sit with a freshly stitched knee through Mass on a Sunday. I did it, but I just could not get myself to daily Mass. I was embarrassed I couldn't kneel and I had to keep stretching my knee out across the aisle all the time to keep from getting cramps and the pain … well, it was just easier to not go than deal with the cramped pew. But I missed it. I missed talking with Our Lord in the quiet of the church. I missed receiving his Body and receiving the daily spiritual nourishment I desperately needed. Sundays were fine, but I really missed my daily Mass times. So I began again and while I was still struggling a little with kneeling I was at least there, soaking up our Lord's presence. It made such a difference! Doing Good Reading: While I am not a trash-novel fan, I was spending time while doing leg lifts and pedaling my stationary bike reading common stories. Don't get me wrong, I love all kinds of reading, but I needed some good stuff for the soul, too. So I picked up a book I found several years ago for Lent called The Little Way of Lent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux by Fr. Gary Caster. Wow, I forgot how much her meditations helped me. They are simple little tidbits of spiritual food that reminded me how much I had forgotten to smile and enjoy others. Caught up in my pain and recovery, I sometimes felt jealous of others who were able to run around and get up and down without thinking about whether their knee was ready for that exercise or not! Offering Sacrifice: This I felt I had been doing a lot of. Every pain, every bout of self-pity tears I was trying to offer up, so I had been working on this, but as I dealt with less pain and frustration, I still feel the need to work on some selfish habits I had acquired over the past several months, fussing at our dog for being underfoot or begging in the kitchen while I cooked, getting crabby with my husband when I was in the depths of pity partying. He was the model caregiver, but sometimes all he got in return was a snap reply. In just a day or two I was already beginning to feel better. Kind of like when you back to eating your vegetables and fruits after you have binged on chips and candy, your body knows what it needs to feel better, and these things all helped me get back on the road to better spiritual health too. I'm looking at Lent as a way to amp up my resolve to be less fussy and smile more.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Simmons