We Become What We Consume
“You are what you eat”. Almost all of us have heard this said before, but what if there was something more to that statement. It is obvious that bad foods may lead to a significantly long list of health problems. What we take into our bodies affects us. The negative impacts our poor diets may not impact us immediately, but given time, it will slowly break us down. With eating, it is about drawing the line. It is about knowing limits and making healthy choices, and certainly having a little bit of junk food won’t harm you. The well-being of our souls, however, cannot be treated as lightly.
We know that what we eat can and will affect our bodies both positively or negatively. What about what we feed our souls? Western Culture has become known as a “consumer culture”. We consume all day long. One of the main ways we consume is through media. We consume media on a daily basis , whether that be through the internet, movies, TV, music, books and magazines, etc. You are consuming right now. The question is, are we consuming what is actually good for us? Due to concupiscence, we are all tempted to sin. Those of us who have receive Baptism, however, have been given a particular grace to overcome concupiscence, but it requires some work on our part.
In the past, I have mentioned the metaphor that within ourselves there are two wolves. One is concupiscence and the other is virtue. The wolf that survives in the end is the one that we feed. So many things influence who we are, both in large and subtle ways. Sometimes it takes time to see how the things we take in have really formed us. Music, television, reading material, and the people we associate ourselves with will ultimately form us. As Christians, we need to daily put ourselves in check and examine our conscience to see if what we are consuming is hurting us. As we consume, we need question, “Does the Lord desire this for me?” We need, through prayer, the Sacraments, and spiritual direction, to analyze ourselves and so be able to find those things in our lives which are hurting us and to cut them out of our lives.
“And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell.”
It is worth the time to step back and truly analyze what we consume. We know that what we consume inevitably finds its way out. If what we are taking in leads us away from God, then it must be cast out. This may mean throwing out things that have filled our minds with images of impurity. It may mean throwing out the CDs loaded with music that fill us with anger, sorrow, or bitterness. It may mean letting go of relationships that have pulled us away from being the people God is calling us to be. It also means, however, that we choose to consume good things instead. Do not simply root something out without finding something good to replace it with. The world, the flesh, and the devil only need the door to be open a crack to begin to tear us away from Christ and from the life we are meant to lead. We must be vigilant. We all fall into sin in steps. If we make little allowances here and there, it slowly escalates. The life of virtue, however, cannot be done by your own power alone. Let Christ through prayer be your strength when battling temptation. Turn to Christ and Our Lady when you have to abandon those things or people which you have chosen to love, but who have led you away from grace. They will strengthen you.
In the end, we become what we consume but the choice is ours to choose our spiritual diets. Though we may have to starve ourselves of that which hurt us in this life, it will all be worth it for the Banquet that awaits us at the end of it.
Posted on January 20, 2014, in Beauty, Catholic, chastity, Confession, Conversion, Divine Mercy, faith, Love, lust, morality, Sexuality, Virtue and tagged Diet, lust, media, music, purity, sin, You Are What You Eat. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.