Among the most popular New Year’s resolutions are those to lose weight and to exercise more. Besides trekking the treadmill and practicing Pilates, gym-goers are likely to adopt the latest, greatest diet. Every diet from standards such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers to others like the Keto Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Raw Food Diet, and the Whole30 Diet will be tried and tried again.
The word “diet” comes from the Medieval Latin dieta meaning “a daily food allowance.” Its Greek counterpart, diaita means “a way of life, a regimen,” and therein lies the key to any successful diet. Counting calories and avoiding carbs are short-term approaches to weight loss, but unless there is a desire from within to change one’s way of life, the pounds are likely to return.
What might happen if in this New Year we made a resolution to commit to something called a Liturgical Diet? It might look something like this:
- Arrive in time for the beginning of Mass. The gathering song, like a healthy breakfast, is designed give you the energy you need for the work of prayer.
- Exercise your Baptismal right to worship by responding and singing with your whole heart. It is the best cardio workout.
- Feast on the Sunday readings as an appetizer throughout the week. The Word of God lasts longer when it is slowly digested.
- Savor the Eucharist. It is food for the soul.
- Don’t deny yourself the final blessing. Like a healthy dessert, it can leave you feeling fulfilled.
- During the week, awaken and train your evangelizing muscles. Invite others, especially inactive Catholics, to join our parish family at the table of the Lord.
Like other diets, the Liturgical Diet will require an inner change, but will create a Body of Christ that is spiritually fit for the sake of the world!