Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In what ways have self-discipline and self-control shaped you, your character, and your work? - Daily Reflections June 23,2015

During my 23-day stay in Japan in 2014, during which time I finished writing my assignments for Sabbath 2015 in the course of giving two batches of eight-day retreat to priests and sisters of our congregation, one way I relaxed and kept my sanity was to go in and out of Japanese department stores and groceries located along the main street that goes from Yotsuya to Shinju-ku in Metro Tokyo. It would be a good one-hour walk, going from and coming back to the convent at Wakaba district. I would always feel frustrated whenever I try to look for a T-shirt for my size. The Japanese sizes are relatively small and it was unusual to find an XL or XXL. Japanese department stores mostly have only L and LL, and they are, as I have said, sized rather smaller than conventional.
       I tried to seek an explanation to what I observed. I found a really interesting one. This thing about the available sizes of clothes is a strategy to keep the Japanese people healthy and be mindful about their weight. They have to be conscious that clothes available in the market only fit for slender bodies. In fact, compared to places I have gone in the United States, I rarely saw obese people in Tokyo. What a national discipline! And really, one thing that struck me about the Japanese is their strong sense of personal and communal discipline.
       The narrow door in today’s Gospel is Jesus’ own way of stressing that Christian life also involves discipline. There is no true discipleship without discipline. (Notice that the two words have common first two syllables.) As regards our faith-life and spirituality, we need to control ourselves — our inclinations, our attitudes, our passions and emotions. We also need to be consistent with our prayers, our meditations, our spiritual reading, our time for study, our participation in community worship and activities, our Eucharist. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: In what ways have self-discipline and self-control shaped you, your character, and your work? What part of your person and of your lifestyle do you find hardest to discipline and control? Why do you think this is so?
Grant me the fruit of self-control, Lord, so that I may become more like You.

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