“Brother Ass”

I have to say “I’m a little worn out”. The last few weeks have been intense… physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We experienced a wonderful vacation in Scotland, we’ve helped host our daughter and family from Nashville which has been great. We’ve experienced the loss of three wonderful friends…. Peter Smith (35), Steve Fiero (72), and Joanne Quense (92)…. three different generations; all loved the Lord. And then experiencing regular life which is full and wonderful and intense. So I’m a bit tired. But in truth my body is tired, but not my spirit.

I recall the phrase attributed to St. Francis…calling his body, “Brother Ass”.  C.S. Lewis agreed saying “ass is exquisitely right because no one in his senses can either revere or hate a donkey. It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now a stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body.” 

Well, I’m not sure I understand all of that, but part of it makes sense. We get tired. The body can carry us along pretty well…”good job brother ass”, but then it let’s us down with tiredness or sickness. Hmmmmm. Yet, we can’t let Brother Ass have the last word or rule the situation. Sometimes we need to get out the “stick and carrot” to get “Ole BA” moving again. The fact that we get tired and worn out is pretty normal and part of who we are as human beings. When we get tired, it’s good to get a rest and recharge our batteries. We may need to push through at times, but still we need to care for “ole BA” and give him a break at times.

Sometimes we can confuse the term “flesh” with the term body or brother ass. “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.(Romans 8:5-6). The term “the flesh” most plainly refers to the part of us that is alienated from God. It is the rebellious, unruly, and obstinate part of our inner self that is always operative…our sinful nature…. concupiscence. (ref. Gal. 5:16-17) When the flesh is insisting on its way like a spoiled brat, we need to resist it and not give in to its whims. Jesus tells us to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Mt. 26:41)

Okay time to summarize. When our “body or BA” is  legitimately tired or sick, we should try to get a break. Remember even Jesus and the apostles needed to take a break at times.  However, when our “flesh” is acting up we should resist, watch & pray. It’s not always easy to know which is which, but the Holy Spirit will help us. 

Wow, I’m feeling better. I’m not so tired. Maybe it was the flesh acting up and not Brother Ass. Thank you Holy Spirit for keeping me on the right path. 





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