I just got back from Church. Man do I ever feel good. We had a replacement priest today Father Steve Collins who preached about believing though we do not see, as well as Divine Mercy, seeing that it is Divine Mercy Sunday, as well as the day of Canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. What a great vibration.


I was having an imaginary conversation with a group of imaginary journalists out in the cool sunny April morning air, in my bright green spring suit, with a ‘spring in my step’ so to speak, seeing that I’d put it on again for the first time since last fall roughly, seeing that it’s more ‘suited’ to spring, but more importantly, that I’d lost 15 lbs and could fit properly into it again, so I felt a lot more worthy of wearing it again.


These imaginary journalists were querying me as to the secret of how I was able to get slim and to keep off the weight and I’d replied unequivocally to them in my head ‘by making a friend of Jesus and always keeping Him by your side.’ They of course, being Doubting Thomas’s like in today’s Gospel, said, ‘How does this help you lose weight and keep it off?’ I immediately answered: ‘Because in Jesus I have a friend to whom I can offer up all my fears, anxieties, compulsions, anger, lusts, passions, desires and appetites, including my appetites for food, drink, drugs, tobacco and  gambling (if I had ever been a gambler, which was never the case).


I can offer up these things as a sacrifice and as a prayer to Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ and ask Him, if tempted, to keep me strong, by using Him as a touchstone, a Rock of Strength to fall back upon in times of need and want, to get me through the tough moments when I might feel the urge to give in and munch on some comfort food. I told these imaginary journalistic Doubting Thomas’s that I bring my car in for service at least every fall and spring for a tune-up, so why shouldn’t I bring my body, mind and soul to the ‘Spiritual Garage’ of the Roman Catholic Church at least every Sunday to ‘Gas Up’ my soul with the ‘Soul Food’ I need to keep myself as a ‘Soul Man’ ‘groovin’ along?’


I think that at Church, the Mass and the prayers and the priest’s Homily help me maintain my ‘brakes’ in good working order by helping me learn the virtues of patience, Grace and perseverance, not to mention moderation, and temperance. Going to Church keeps my ‘motor’ properly ‘tuned-up’, by teaching me good moral principles of goodness, justice, honesty and keeps my ‘spark plugs’ from getting ‘fouled up’ by making sure the ‘motor’ of my body and behaviour stays in good shape through regular exercise, good eating, getting enough sleep and so on.


Going to Church also teaches me to make sure my ‘radiator’ get ‘flushed’ every once in a while so that the ‘cooling system’ of my patience and nerves doesn’t ‘overheat’ or ‘boil over’ because I’m not getting enough sleep, or working too hard, or I haven’t changed my spiritual ‘Prestone’ recently by taking some time off or backing off from people, places and things so that I don’t ‘overheat.’ Going to Church and being friends with Jesus also teaches me to ‘check the oil and change the oil’ at least twice a year by making sure I go to Church at Christmas and Easter, the two ‘oil change’ feasts in the Christmas calendar. Who would drive their car all year round and not change the oil in spring and fall? Sheesh! A lot of people treat their cars better than they treat their soul!!!


And while I’m at it, I ‘fill ‘er up’ once a week on Sundays by going to Church and ‘gassing up’ my soul at the ‘Spiritual gas station or Spiritual Garage.’ It’s a basic fact; your car will literally run out of gas in about a week if you don’t gas up. How many people are figuratively ‘running on empty’ as Jackson Browne put it? So many people pass by the ‘Spiritual Gas Station’ of the Church every day but don’t act on their impulse to maybe drop in and ‘gas up.’ Can’t hurt to ‘top up the tank’ once in a while just to be on the safe side before you continue on your journey of life in your day to day existence.


Like the old song says ‘I was full of joy, Alleluia, when I set out for the house of the Lord.’ How many of us get excited about going to gas up at the filling station for our cars? Not too many I should say. But just think how spiritually ‘filled up’ we can feel by ‘topping up our tank’ and filling ‘er up’ once a week by stopping in for daily or weekly Mass and getting involved in Church life and making a friend of Jesus?


It’s not a question of whether ‘I’ve got the time or not.’ It’s whether or not you can afford NOT to make a friend of Jesus and to take your soul into the Soul Garage and be ‘filled up with soul food.’ Jim Morrison once ended his concert with the Doors with a song called ‘Soul Kitchen.’ He sang ‘Let me sleep all night in your Soul Kitchen.’ He was of course speaking of the earthly love of a woman, which of course is not a bad thing, if lived properly, but the Soul Kitchen I’m referring to here is the Soul Garage where we come to be in Communion with Christ in the real and true presence of the Eucharist and through our Communion with Him through the Liturgy of the Word and with our fellow Soul Brothers and Sisters.


Because like Father Collins said this morning, as Christians, we don’t live our Communion with Christ alone, otherwise that faith will die on the vine and wither away. No, we come to the Soul Kitchen, the Soul Garage and ‘fill ‘er up’ with soul food together as a manifestation of our collective belief in the goodness of Jesus, the Risen Lord, who died and who conquered death so that we may ALL have life through him, with him and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all Glory and Honour is yours Almighty Father, forever and ever, Amen.


And so I keep the weight off by frequenting this ‘Soul Garage’ as often as possible, because when I’m there, I’m not eating in front of the TV, I’m not being exposed to junk food ads on TV or the internet, when I say the Rosary, it keeps my mind off the fact that I may be a little hungry and may be tempted to snack on something unhealthy when I shouldn’t. My prayer life with Jesus keeps me focused on the sacred, not the profane, it keeps me sanctified, and prevents me from defiling myself through impure actions such as overeating.


What an awesomely rich experience being friends with Jesus, of believing yet not seeing. I feel His presence everyday. I’ve been redeemed by it, sanctified by it. And now that Easter is ‘over’, I’m wanting to carry that ‘soul food’, with me and to pass it around and to ‘fill up as many people’s tanks’ as I can, and to drop into my local ‘Soul Kitchen’ for some ‘Soul Food’ as often as I can and to have my ‘Spiritual Car’ serviced at the ‘Soul Garage’ as often as I can.


Because as we all know, finding a good mechanic who will do a good job and who won’t cheat you is always hard to find. So why not drop by the Soul Kitchen and the Soul Garage? We’ve been open for business now for over 2000 years and have more billions of satisfied customers than McDonalds, that’s for sure, and we service all makes and models, domestic and imports too and we’ve got all the spare parts, tools and diagnostic equipment for every make and model of Soul Brother or Soul Sister ever made.


So those imaginary journalists must be just reeling with wonderment at how a little dude in a green get up could mix his metaphors so eloquently? Well, I must’ve had some help from my two Soul Brothers JPII and JayXXIII. Like I said, I just got back from Church. Man do I EVER FEEL GOOD!!!!

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