Catholic Way of Improving Your Mental Health
Gospel of Luke 14:25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
Gospel of Luke 14:25-33
I may sound repetitive this week since I so often talk about the importance of prayer, but if you are like me, maybe frequent reminders are a good thing! It is sometimes difficult to muster the willpower it takes to pray daily. However, daily prayer is a must for our mental health.
Willpower is a funny thing because we often perceive wrongly that some people are born with it and others are not. It is better to think of willpower as if it is a muscle. How do we grow our muscles? We lift weights. As we lift weights our muscles grow, and we find that we can lift more weight. Willpower works the same way.
While five minutes of silent prayer can seem like an impossible task now, it could be easy and feel completely natural in a month if we keep at it. Before you know it, five minutes can turn into twenty, and then you are really on your way. We must start somewhere, and it is perfectly fine to start small. If you struggle with praying daily, start small. Pray for five minutes in the morning or at night by sitting in silence with the Lord. When it becomes more comfortable, consider making it ten minutes. If we are not moving towards the Lord, we are moving away from Him. There are no plateaus in the spiritual life. When our spiritual life becomes better, so does our mental health. If you do not pray daily, consider taking some time to get started!