I've rarely made exercise a regular part of my life. I wimp out well before the point where (I'm told) one experiences being energized and healthy rather than simply exhausted with a tight band across one's chest. I've had friends who actually feel deprived on days when they miss exercise. I am alternately baffled and envious.
But I understand the principle. As a business school student, I read the Wall Street Journal every day. I can't say that any one day's reading made me feel particularly more educated, enlightened or full of (jargon alert!) business acumen. But my daily dose of WSJ gradually gave me an overall awareness of the business environment, industries, international trends, and principles that gave me more smarts over time.
I'm reminded of this experience as I grow in making daily attendance at Mass a regular practice. I can't point to any particular time I've received Jesus in the Eucharist that was overwhelmingly and specifically distinctive. But every day, hearing the word of God, participating in the congregational responses, kneeling and making the sign of the cross as evidence even to myself that something different is going on here, and most of all putting the host on my tongue and the chalice to my lips -- these are exercising power in my life.
I don't go because I ought to go. I go because I want to go. And I want to go . . . because I go. Being fed increases the hunger. Being hungry increases the satisfaction and fulfillment. I don't understand it. But I keep going back. I want more of Jesus. I want Him to have more of me, if He'll have me.
A defense of NFP in Commonweal
4 hours ago