Brother Ass needs good food in order to be able to serve God fully.
Welcome to our fifth and final day of contemplation of the needs of Brother Ass, the name that St Francis of Assisi gave to his very stubborn body.
To be strong and healthy, Brother Ass obviously needs plenty of nutritious food. Green grass, a bag of unrefined oats and a salt-lick would keep him happy.
A point that we Christians have grievously missed is that just as there are godly and satanic standards in regard to sex and money, there are very definitely also Heavenly and Worldly foods; those given by Abba Father lead to life and health.
But I’m afraid we have been seduced by the world, the flesh and the Devil into feeding Brother Ass highly-refined food that is both deficient in many beneficial nutrients and filled with toxic chemicals.
In Genesis, chapter 1 we read that God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed; each according to its kind.”
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures; cattle and creeping things and beasts of the field, each according to its own kind. And God saw what he had made and behold it was very good.”
But the world has other ideas; modern man does not think that the food which God created is very good; in fact it's horrible. It must be genetically modified and refined; it needs flavour-enhancers, preservatives and stabilisers. It should all be pasteurised.
The worldly view is that God’s plan for the cattle on a thousand hills is not very good either; they should be reared in a feedlot where they can be fed with richer food and generally managed more efficiently. It is not dissimilar for pigs in their sties and chickens in cages.
Farming methods too have dramatically changed from those that once produced heavenly meals. The industrialised food system uses vast areas grown under monocultures; all other plants are poisoned with toxic biocides, insects are decimated and Mother Earth fertilised with modern inorganic chemicals.
God provided Heavenly Food in abundance but modern man in his cleverness allows a third of it to go to waste; and then cannot understand why so many people are starving to death.
So we Christians are faced today with a choice; should we be eating the food of heaven or that of the world? And how much do we simply discard for one reason or another?
Let's go back to the five Blue Zones of the world where living to a vital and vigorous ninety is not at all unusual, and ten times as many people become centurions.
An investigation by National Geographic revealed interesting things about their lifestyle, far too many to mention here. If you too are fascinated go and find them on TED talks on YouTube. But I will leave a few pointers with you.
They grow and eat much of their own organic food. They are not vegetarians but their meals are largely plant-based.
All five are religious, different faiths but all belonging to the contemplative tradition.
They eat only sourdough bread; their grains are not highly-refined.
In all five they grow and eat broad beans; they are the only common source of dopamine, the "feel good" hormone and an excellent vegetable protein.
I leave you with a final thought. It’s no secret that the finances of the church are in dire straits. If we all treated our bodies with the respect that the Temple of the Holy Spirit is due, we should live longer, continue tithing for many more years and our fragile savings would not be crippled with massive medical bills.
The world, the flesh and the Devil are determined to cripple the church by whatever means they have at their disposal.
As CS Lewis said, sickness is the trumpet that God uses to speak to the world; but are we listening?
Returning to regular exercise and the Heavenly Food that our Father provides would absolutely turn us upside down. That is His desire for us; that we should live long in the land and serve him joyfully all our days.
If we choose instead to follow the lead of the world in these matters then I would suggest that poor health will continue to dog Brother Ass’ footsteps.
Or as they say in Holland, “those who will not hear, must feel.”
I hope these thoughts based on the life of St Francis of Assisi have been a blessing to you. Let us continue to pray for each other. Brother Ass is indeed very stubborn.
Brother Ass needs good food if he is to help those around him in need; otherwise they will find themselves assisting him.
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