Sunday, June 15, 2014

What's your excuse?

Certainly everyone in the world (give or take) has seen this controversial photo:


I'm not about to start a discussion of  "fat-shaming" etc., or the particular merits of exercise. I just want to point out that this person has decided what her priorities are and has worked hard. She is proud of her results and seems to be saying that if you don't look like this, then you must have some flimsy excuse. (Yes, open to interpretation, but the word "excuse" implies that you don't have one.)

So what is that priority? It's worship at the Cult of the Body. Pride in one's appearance to the point that one is willing to pose indecently dressed and share that image with anyone and everyone. Just how long with this "result" last? If she keeps it up, it may last for another thirty years or so, as long as she's willing to do increasingly strenuous exercise and start coloring her hair (depending on genetics). But what good is it long-term? And I don't mean when she's eighty, I mean after she has departed this life. Because we're all going to die. Exercise is all well and good, but not when it becomes the focus of your life. Not when the driving force behind the exercise and the vitamins and potions, and the hair coloring, and the botox, and the diets... is all about the appearance and care of the physical body. People will call it "feeling good about myself", but what they mean is "pride in my appearance". We shouldn't abuse our physical bodies because they are God-given, but we shouldn't worship them either. It's just storing up treasures on earth instead of heaven. And it all comes from a fear of death and a denial of mortality.

So, switching the focus now, let's look at another life's goal. A better priority. A better way to preserve our life is to lose it. Today is the Sunday of All Saints. As has been said many times over, the Church is a factory for making saints. "We are all called to be saints," is heard so often that it tends to go in one ear and out the other. But think about it seriously for just a few moments: We are ALL called to be SAINTS. Yes, ALL of us. You, me, everyone. We tend to think that there are those saints out there in the past, and even some here in the present, and it's great because we can ask them to pray for us. But, of course, we could never be saints ourselves. Just not gonna happen.

But really, what's your excuse?

There can be many legitimate reasons why you are unable to have a centerfold body. So as not to insult your intelligence, I'm not going to begin enumerating them. But is there a legitimate reason why you can't be a saint? I'm going to state categorically: NO. God created all of us in His image. It doesn't matter how old, how tall, what color, how many limbs, what intelligence, what your parents did, what country you live in, etc., YOU can be a saint.

And, to emphasize that, I've created some healthy alternatives to the rather indecent (in a spiritual sense) photo above:


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All Saints Pray for Us!!


Life of St. Mary of Egypt and St. Moses the Black


13 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS POST!!! so great! Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you! This is the first post I've had any anticipatory excitement about in simply ages. :)

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  2. What a wonderful post! Thank you, matushka!

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  3. Matushka, these are simply ingenious!!! I LOVE them. Bravo! I hope you keep making them and that they circulate all over the internet!

    Fr. John mentioned Bishop Augoustinos of Florina in his homily today and explained how he had compiled a book of his own sermons on old and new saints of various professions in order to show the faithful that we can become holy in all walks of life. This reminded me of that. Good job!

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    1. Believe me, I would love for things like these to be much more prevalent than the awful photo at the top!

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  4. Excellent post!!! I love it! I agree with some of the previous commenters that you should make more "what's your excuse?" with icons of saints. I also appreciate that you acknowledged how silly some of these modern ideals are concerning losing weight and having a "perfect" fit body. It really seems to be such an obsession in society, the media, etc.

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  5. Bravo and Amen Sister! You got a Alleluia from me!

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  6. St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, St. Maria of Paris, St. Herman, oh man, these could be great.

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  7. Ingenious! Love it...thank you for sharing this.

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  8. Lord have mercy! God help us in all ways! Yes, it is our calling...

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  9. Saint or sinner...I'm a saint who, although sins occasionally, am saved by grace.

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