April 13, 2015

Dear Family and Friends of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

There are several phrases about faith I enjoy. One is, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” As a child you may have thought of it as scripture. Sorry mom, it’s not in the Bible. Another phrase comes from the theology of Radar O’Reilly of M*A*S*H. He learned it from his mom. Here goes: “The human skin is the devil’s slipcover!” Another idea not in scripture but valuable although tiresome counsel is, “Eat properly and exercise regularly.”

How do you eat properly? We are presented with a wide array of foods. Carbohydrates lead the list. In the grocery store produce—fresh fruits and vegetables—are among the most expensive items. We are told what to eat and how much. Sometimes I think I am supposed to live on raw carrots and celery, curl up in the fetal position, and wait to die! I hate counting carbohydrates, and I can’t stand going around hungry all the time. I try to reduce sugars and fats. It seems impossible to do both at once. When I am frustrated a big bowl of ice cream will do the trick. Sugar and fat together! How I love it!

Exercise is easier for me. I used to run, work weight machines, and most importantly swim. I also liked golf and tennis but was terrible at both sports. Now that I am in my mid-60’s walking suits me best. I walk every day. When the weather is cold or rainy I use a treadmill. Walking outside is better provided I don’t get run over by a bicycle. While the treadmill is suitable for reading, I can’t use this as prayer time. With walking I can. In walking about 45 minutes and going 2.25 miles, I can go deep into thought and reflective prayer. Some places I walk are beautiful. Besides quality prayer time this exercise controls weight and causes the release of endorphins which produce a great mental state of mind. Physical exercise is not next to Godliness, but it is a good thing. Try doing it for a better and happier life! With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,