Some time ago during the Tuesday Bible study class at Saint Cecilia Catholic Church, our leader, Sue, opened with a prayer expressing that we all begin focusing more on God’s Word and less on the disturbing events around us. After we all said our “Amen,” I sheepishly raised by hand and shared a challenge I undertook beginning in June 2001 called “The 30-Day Mental Fast.” The program was started by Jerry Clark and details can be found on his website clubrhino.com Clark said that by following a few rules, we can change our mental outlook. No longer will we be slaves to the media’s grip of fear and doom. What started out as a thirty-day challenge has become a ten year continuous endeavor, and this included the infamous events of September 11, 2001. During that dreadful period, I barely looked at the news. I knew what I needed to know, and I knew I could not change anything. Instead, I was free to focus on what I could change: my life, attitude, and outlook.
Sue and her husband, Bob, have done likewise for several weeks now. Bob finds listening to the classical TV stations is enjoyable–symphonies and opera–without any news or advertisements. He states that, “When you hear the news so much you get frustrated. As a news junkie, the first few days were difficult because it had become a bad habit, for the news is repeated all day long. Now I can think, and I am not being managed by the media. I can get a lot more done. I am being transformed by the renewal of my mind.”
Romans 12:2 expounds, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (RSV)
Yes, Lent is over, but if you are interested in challenging yourself, here are the rules to follow for the next thirty days:
- Turn off the television set and the radio in the house and in the car.
- Avoid reading newspapers, magazines, or Internet media reports.
- In place of the above, listen to books on tape, motivational CD’s, or Catholic CD’s from LighthouseCatholicMedia.org
- Read good books and magazines that will make you grow rather than make you feel powerless.
- Give yourself time every day in God’s word and in prayer.
- Exercise daily to help the brain.
- Drink plenty of purified water to flush the brain.
- Journal what you are learning.
Eternal Father, May the hope that springs forth from your Son’s death and resurrection shine forth through the Church in every age and in every circumstance. Magnificat, Lent 2011