My sacrifice for Lent...

Cruentus

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O.K..bare with me guys.This same post is going in the Filipino Arts Forum, Modern Arnis Forum, Knife Arts Forum, General Talk Forum, and the Study. I want this message to be in the areas I frequent the most. I know that multiple posting is frowned upon, so if the Mods. want to condense them later then I wont be offended; but I do ask that they be left up for a few days at least.

Also, this post is more of a religious nature, so bare with me on that too, please. But, dont worry, I plan to tie it all in so everyone will benefit no matter what religious belief someone has.

I am a Catholic, and as some of you may know, today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the 1st day of what is called the Lenten fast (Lent), which lasts 40 days until Easter Sunday. The use of Ashes was borrowed from an old Jewish custom, and for us the ashes denotes penance, a death to oneself, and rebirth. Sort of like the old saying, From dust you came and from dust you shall return. Essentially, Lent is a very special time for many Catholics. It is a time of reflection; a time to take a step back and really look at ourselves. Its a time to reflect on our successes and our failures, and what we have done well over the past year, and what we have failed to do. Its a time to really, honestly see ourselves, and what we are, and what weve become. Are we the person we want to be? Are we on the path thats right for us? Are we living up to the potential that our creator gave us? It is a time that we analyze our relationships with others. Do we say I love you enough? Do we listen enough? Are we forgiving enough? Are we accepting enough of people who might be considered our enemies? And what about the state of the world? Do we wallow in our own helplessness over how bad everything has gotten, or do we try to do our part to make things better, even if these things seem only small? And, how is our relationship with God? Do we talk to our God at all? Do we ask him for help? Do we thank him enough? Do we repent enough? Do we even have a relationship at all?

And it is this reflection that takes us on a great journey of self-discovery, awareness, and self-improvement. To take this time and energy out of our lives to go on this wonderful journey, we give something up that may get in our way or block our path. This is where the fasting comes in. We abstain, or give something up that has been trying to stand in the way of our spiritual development. Sure, Catholic Children give up Candy or Soda to learn how to abstain from something. Some people do the old No meat on Fridays thing on a regular basis. And there is no faulting this. But no matter what faith you are, understand that it isnt about giving up chewing gum or fish frys; its about sacrificing something that has been getting in your way to reaching a higher potential in your life. Perhaps youll abstain from snapping at people in an angry manner. Perhaps Television or Internet has been overtaking your life. Perhaps giving up an hour of sleep to go for a run every morning will help you get more substance. Perhaps working more, or working less is the answer. Maybe spending more time with your parents, wives, children, or spending extra time in prayer will help you focus on your journey. What is that thing that you need to do, or need to abstain from so you can rediscover yourself, reach a higher potential, or deepen your spiritual life? We make these sacrifices during Lent.

We Catholics believe that Jesus basically went on a journey from the beginning of his life to the end on the cross. But with this death and giving of himself on the cross, he was born again and given a new life. We emulate this for these forty days of self-sacrifice to lose a part of ourselves to die a small death so we can be born again a new and improved person.

How does this apply to martial arts? Well, in Martial Arts, when does self-sacrifice come to play? When does reflection come to play, and how do you use the tools of sacrifice and reflection to improve yourself as a Martial Artist? I think that this would make a good discussion.

Now, the reason for my post isnt to grandstand or to be preachy, or impose my beliefs on others. I hope that people of all faiths and walks will get something out of my post. The real reason I am posting this is because after midnight tonight, I will be logged off all Internet talk forums until Easter. These talk forums have been a very good tool. It causes me to listen, learn, research, and even argue all for the bettering of my knowledge of the arts. However, upon reflection today, I realize that I log a lot more time then I think on these forumstime that might be well spent being productive in other places. I plan on writing some articles, ratcheting up my productivity at my business, and doing a lot of soul searching and reflection; all things that time on the Internet may take away from over the next 40 days. I am making other sacrifices this year, but this one applies the most here; for people who, on these boards, like conversing with me, or like what I have to say (and yes, I know I just opened myself up to a slew of wisecracks with this commentlol! :uhyeah: ).

So, if in a few days you wonder where Ive been, you now know. I will not be posting from midnight tonight until Easter. The one thing I will do is Ill check my Private Message box at Martial Talk; if you want to get a hold of me shoot me a phone # or ask for mine and we can talk on the phone. Otherwise.Ill see you after Easter.and hopefully as a better man!

Peace,
Paul Janulis
:asian:
 
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