We are mysterious unto ourselves. In youth we are moved by the body and its passions as if by the very voice of God. The deceptions of the flesh are most convincing for kinesthetic types, such as I am, and learning to discern through them is a terrible purgatory. Today, several years beyond my physical peak, I am less moved but still amazed by the vast fluctuations of bodily/emotional states within myself. Some degree of control is gained in the regulation of fasting and diet, exercise and sleep, work and play. Yet, I am still often at the mercy of a flesh that sets itself against my will. A stubborn donkey, as Saint Francis called his own body.
The Book of Ephesians is a book about bodies and The Body. I am this morning caught up in the grandeur of participation in the Body of Jesus. It is about growing up into the full stature of Christ, being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving, always speaking truth in love, leaving behind the old man of history in preference for the new man of heaven. The body is made of members, each given a gift. In my affirmation and visualization, I question now what it is I think I am supposed to be doing, besides that which I am already bound to do. Where are my undernourished gifts? In their continued cultivation, I will find, not only a degree of happiness and peace, but also my function in the Catholic Church, my home in the Body of God, even my unique and irreplaceable vocation.