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Lent Challenge Week Two: Mind

Lent Challenge Week Two: Mind

 
By:  Nicholas Breidigam March 8, 2022
#AmazingNation, #Depression, #Encouragement, #How-To, #Jesus, #Live

Welcome to week number 2! During this week, the focus is on the mind. Got a lot on your mind? Don’t worry, repeat after me: "Everything is going to be OKAY". Now with this new topic, don't forget to build on last week's blog on the body (Read it here!). Keep moving forward!

The mind, we all have one. It's complex and offers us unique experiences. Our mind can get us to be “in our head", as the saying goes. That experience leads us to be vested in our selfish interests at times.  

Now, I know what you are thinking. Wait, no, I don't. We really can’t tell what others are thinking. You see, we can get in our heads and forget about the graces God bestows on us daily. (Some of you are already in your heads and I’m  gonna tell you it’s gonna be okay).  

That is why this second-week challenge focuses on the mind.  

We have all thought negatively about ourselves and others at some time. The challenge is to stop that process. I know that I have beat myself to a pulp in my head. You have to be honest with yourself. This Lent, try and be positive with your thoughts. There are plenty of people out there who give up when they start listening to this negative voice. It brings us to despair and discouragement.  

Words of wisdom come to mind from Pope St. John Paul II's homily at the Inauguration of his Pontificate. He says, "So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life." So, what does this mean for us? We need to have the humility and trust that Our Lord will see us through those negative thoughts. Many priests have heard in confession about the demons that speak little empty promises and a negative soliloquy. The only way we can "Get those monkeys off your back” and silence those voices is to renounce them by affirming who we are in God's eyes. We have to know the name of the demon which plagues us. Seek a priest in confession this Lent for guidance.  

How many times have we gone through a day and started to hear, "You are a failure", "No one cares about what you are going through", "That person is weak, and I am strong", or "At least I am not like him/her".  

That is in our minds about ourselves and others. Sometimes those thoughts come out of our mouths injuring ourselves and others.  

We see, Jesus even gave us a parable about this. If we turn our minds to Luke 18:9-14, we’ll see that He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else: 

“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

It is important not to despise others and be humble and gracious for the gifts we have been given. We are very much like the Pharisee, and we need the humility of the tax collector/publican. The humble will be exalted, right? Make this Lent, hard as it may be, about humbling ourselves before others and God. God will humble us regardless.  

Another challenge this week is to stop gossiping and complaining. Our family, friends, and even ourselves suffer from the overactivity of the tongue. So, let's encourage each other daily. If you see a person on the street, just shout over to them, "You're Amazing". You'll be shocked how many people will be surprised.  

Light someone up with praise and positivity!  

So, let's recap! Two challenges for this week are...eating food and sleeping in a sewer. Just kidding, the first challenge is to stop thinking and speaking negatively towards yourself and others, and the next challenge is to stop gossiping and complaining and to start encouraging your family and friends. 

We can all work on this! No one has this down the way Our Lord did while He walked on Earth.  Remember this quote from St. Augustine, "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels."  

Be humble and remember you have a purpose from the Creator in this world!

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