During Lent, we engage in activities to heal our relationship with God and restore ourselves to the person that He created us to be. Pietra Fitness classes also allow us to restore and heal our bodies and souls and draw us closer to Christ and our true identity in Him. Lent and Pietra invite us to this healing in 3 ways: simplicity, humility, and awareness.

Simplicity: Lenten practices (such as fasting from a certain food or activity) encourage us to simplify our lives – lives that can often feel out of control with media, commitments, challenging relationships. Pietra Fitness also invites us to simplify, to calm, to focus on the moment that we are in. Because, if we allow ourselves, we often meet and hear God in those simple moments.

Humility: Lenten practices encourage us to be humble, to examine ourselves, to listento God instead of pushing our own way through. Pietra Fitness encourages us to be gentle, to be humble, to listen to our bodies (temples of the Holy Spirit), instead of pushing through our own agenda, plan, and ideas. When we do listen to our bodies, we somehow are then able to breathe new energy and strength into our bodies and lives. Likewise, once we acknowledge our weaknesses in the spiritual life, we can open ourselves to the healing power of God.

Awareness: Both Lent and Pietra invite us to be aware: Aware of God’s constant presence; aware of ourselves and our consciences. We are invited to go back to the core of who we are, examining the blind spots and trouble spots that are keeping us from God, from who God wants us to be. With this awareness, both body and mind become free to change those trouble spots and then to love, serve, and know God. Awareness of His presence allows us to live and act in that presence. Opening ourselves to God strengthens us body, mind, spirit because it allows His strength to flow through.

Simplicity, humility, and awareness allow us to get back to our core: being created in the image and likeness of God out of Divine Love.

Pietra Fitness focuses on developing core strength, providing a solid foundation for the rest of the body and nourishing the inner core (the soul) through scripture and meditations. This powerful combination truly benefits the whole human person – body and soul, in unity and integrity. Lent also helps us to go back to our core, so as to heal, renew, and restore our true selves, as sons and daughters of the Father, made in His image and likeness and redeemed by His Son.

During Lent, as we focus on our body and soul (through fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, and perhaps even some Pietra Fitness) we remember our dignity in light of His Passion, in light of His Divine Love for us. Accompanying him into the Tomb, we arise with Him on Easter morning,

a new creation. May we all practice simplicity, humility, and awareness this Lent so that we can be whole-ly and holy in His presence when Easter comes.

Prayer to St. Raphael the Archangel, Patron of Healing

O Glorious St. Raphael, heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body and provide the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.