Posted by: cmittermeier | June 4, 2017

The Daily Struggle

Pictured is a butterfly that we raised in our homeschool a few years back.  Every year since, near the lilac bush we released them by, I see them (well, their descendants). We all know the fun fact that a butterfly must struggle to get out of its cocoon or it will die, and we often bring that fact to mind when trying to rev ourselves over a hurdle.  We know we must struggle, but we live in a very hedonistic world and so all around me is the mantra, “don’t struggle!”.  Have a weight problem? Accept it! There is a constant struggle in my daily life between “just have fun” and “hard stuff”.

You could say its a double struggle – first struggle, “are you gonna face the difficult stuff?” and then the second struggle, the hard stuff… I am a fair weather person, I want my life to be happy pappy all the time!  When things hurt, give me ice cream.  When life sucks, hand me a cookie. The nasties in my life know how to tempt me… and into this midst, what is breaking through? Reminders of the 100 year anniversary of Fatima.

What does Fatima have to do with MY daily struggle? EVERYTHING.  What was Fatima’s message? It was to do all the things I know I need to do – pray, fast, give alms DAILY.  She showed them a vision of hell. She showed them heaven. She made the consequences very real, immediate.  She did not say, “once a week” or “on the first Tuesday of every month”, she said EVERYDAY.  Fatima was, no, IS, my daily message.  It IS the way to daily victory, because I am not a butterfly that must get out of a cocoon once in my life. I am a DISCIPLE of the Lord Most High, and the word Disciple implies DISCIPLINE.  That was her message – do it every day, struggle every day, follow her son, every day.

…and so I am off to say my rosary.  I may not feel like it, I may have to struggle through it.  I likely will have to make use of helpers like images of the mysteries, or youtube videos, or the rosary CD I downloaded a while back for my iPad.  Like the exercises my physiotherapist suggested for my toes, I just have to bear up and do it. Discipline is not built by good feelings, its built by daily doing.  In time, that discipline will wind back into exercise (already I’m averaging three exercise videos a week), it will continue to improve my “fasting” (which really means getting down to the non-gluttonous line at this stage).  But it all starts with daily discipline of prayer, whether I feel like it or not.

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