I am more than fifty pounds overweight. I have suffered with high blood pressure and gout since I was about eighteen. I am also a type two diabetic and have the beginning stages of neuropathy and vision problems related to that. I have heart disease and had a quintuple bypass at the age of forty-five. My heart was over 90% blocked. Needless to say, I am in poor shape. Sadly, I am not alone. Over 40% of the American population is in the same boat and that number grows every day. As the American lifestyle spreads throughout the world so do our health problems.
Yet, there is hope. I have found a cure. I have found a pill that reverses every disease that I suffer with. It has been medically proven to end obesity, reverse diabetes and heart disease, and even clear my blocked arteries. There are doctors screaming at the top of their lungs trying to get the news out. People in my predicament either haven’t heard, don’t believe, or choose not to accept the cure. My brother in the diaconate told me about it and I have seen this miracle work in his life. I’ve done my research. I am a believer.
What is this miracle pill you may ask? Well, it’s not really a pill. It is a whole foods, plant based diet that concentrates on starch as the primary fuel source. Whoa, hang on a minute. That’s code for vegan. Well, yes and no. A WFPB diet does qualify as a vegan diet but many vegan diets don’t qualify as a WFPB diet. It’s a square-rectangle sort of thing.
Now, I know that I have lost over half the people reading this blog. There is just no way they are willing to look at giving up eating meat and oil and fat even it is the key to having a long healthy life. They are unwilling to listen even if it means saving their life. They want their hamburgers and bacon and steaks more than they want a healthy life. The desire for something pleasurable today outweighs life in abundance tomorrow.
And that is exactly the nature of sin. Christ offers us life in abundance if we love him. What is the proof of love?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
So, we show our love for Jesus by following his teachings. Only the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth. Jesus passed his teachings down to his Disciples, who passed them on to their replacements, continually through time, until we end up with the Pope and the Magisterium. The Catholic Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth today (1 Timothy 3:15). When people disagree with the Catholic Church when it comes to faith or morals they do not disagree with the Church, they disagree with Jesus.
We sin, that is, we choose to disobey one of God’s commands for one of two reasons: desire or fear. We choose to disobey God because we desire a temporary pleasure that we are not allowed or because we fear some sort of pain or suffering. Our society is not only physically obese but we are spiritually obese as well. Our society, which once claimed to be predominantly Christian, is leaving the mainstream Christian faiths for a more “spiritual”, personal relationship with Jesus. Of course that relationship is more like the one you have with a neighbor you never talk to and only occasionally wave at if you happen to see them taking out their trash.
People claim they love Jesus yet have no desire to follow his commands because, well, they are just too restrictive. I want to sleep with anyone I please, marry whomever I desire for any amount of time I deem long enough, lie, cheat, steal, and kill offspring I am not ready to care for. As a matter of fact, I don’t even want to follow the natural law and define my gender for myself solely based upon what my feelings are today. God created them man and woman in his image. Man and woman pushed God out of the picture and recreated themselves in an image of their choosing.
We are physically obese because we choose our desire to eat what we please over what we are designed to eat. We are spiritually obese because we choose to sin through desire over loving Jesus. Both types of obesity lead to death. Physical obesity leads to a poor life and mortal death. Spiritual obesity also leads to a poor life but ends with eternal death.
For some of us it takes a near death experience, like a clogged heart and a quintuple bypass, to wake us from our slumber to make the changes necessary to live. It is not too late to throw out that bacon and pick up an apple. If you are reading, this it is also not too late to start actually loving Jesus and begin following his commands. God desires obedience more than sacrifice – 1 Samuel 15. Turn to him with a contrite heart and take that first step to spiritual fitness.