Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Challenge that Lies Ahead

"More determination is required to subdue the interior man than to mortify the body; and to break one's will than to break one's bones."
-St. Ignatius of Loyola
Okay, I want to put this in perspective, so:
  1. Grab the nearest baseball bat.
  2. Give your shin (or better, your femur) a good whacking.  Do that until you hear a crack.  For best results, continue until the bat itself has cracked.
  3. When you're done screaming in terribly, gut-wrenching pain, continue reading.
Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?  Really, though, St. Ignatius has a good point.  You know how hard it is to harm yourself?  If you're so emotionally troubled that you've actually ever tried, you will have found that it is remarkably difficult.  Your instincts and reflexes will fight against your every attempt.

So what must it be like to mortify your body?  It's like trying to go on a diet, but worse.  Trust me.  I'm on a diet and I just bought some Nutella.  I fluctuate between 203 lbs. and 209 lbs. based solely on my mood.  Why?  Because my will ain't strong enough!  My will wants to think of myself and my own desires first.

Now, in all fairness, the equivalent of shattering your femur with a baseball bat in regard to the will would be something a little closer to...hmm...laying down one's life for one's friends.  St. Ignatius of Loyola mentions determination as the tool to overcome willfulness.  I'd like to suggest (and I know he'd agree), that the real instrument for this job is love.  How do I know this?

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."

-John 15:13
Love is what enables us to defy our own wills in the most profound ways.  If we're going to be Fiat Men, we need love first and foremost!



Fiat Men

I don't expect this blog to last a week. Let me just get that out in the open. I've started a number of blogs. They all stunk. Seriously. They get like 2 non-committed followers who drop off the face of the planet. I always feel the need to be structured. So whenever I run out of steam from over-extending myself, with no visible fruits, I more or less give up on the whole blog thing. This time, though, I don't even think it's a good idea. I'm blogging because a couple years ago, I went to go see Jim Carrey in Yes Man, which was an overall decent film, and caught some footage from my native Nebraska (w00t!).

My wife and I saw it at the cheap show in Omaha while visiting my parents. There was a horrible screeching through the whole movie, but it was a great flick, so we stayed. We watched it because there was nothing else to do. It was Spring break and 7*F outside. Not kidding.

Some months ago, I thought it would be cool if someone Christianized it: how about a movement of men who always strive to say "fiat" ("so be it, let it be, etc") to God, no matter what? Then I put it on the back burner, thinking I could never start such a movement. Nonetheless, this evening I felt an urge to do it. So I don't expect this thing to last a week, and certainly not a month, but if it does, maybe its the first fruit of this newfound struggle of mine to submit always to God's will.



PS - If I can avoid looking anything like Jim Carrey running through a field of flowers, I would love that.