As a Catholic, I try to live the three days leading up to Easter in a way that unites me to Christ in a more intimate way. I do this so that on Easter I can truly celebrate His gift of salvation. Exercise, during these three days, takes on a different meaning for me….my workout is less physical and more spiritual.
There are many ways to commemorate Good Friday as a Christian (stations of the Cross, veneration of the Cross, Tenebre service). Our family will attend one of them and I will try to think about the Passion of our Lord, especially at the 3 o’clock hour when it is said that He died. Although I won’t do any physical exercise, for me the spiritual exercise today is harder than most physical kinds. Discipline comes easier for me when it comes to a workout of the body than a workout of the soul. Meditating on the Passion and refraining from certain foods or worldy things can be a harder proposition than a hard weight session or a long run.
Holy Saturday is another day when I try exercising my mind and my soul more vigorously than my body. For the church it is a day when sin and death have triumphed. As Sister Laurel M. O’Neal says, “On this day there is no savior, no church, no Sacrament, no Gospel. There is nothing to celebrate or proclaim”. I might do a light physical workout, but will spend the day trying to think less about me (never an easy thing) and more about Him.
By Easter morning I am eager to wake up and run. Watching the sun come up while I run is my favorite way to start Easter Sunday. On this day there is much to celebrate. Besides Mass with the family, candy eggs, Easter hats, lots and lots of good food are in abundance… After all, Easter is an exercise in joy that comes only once a year!