Open Your Heart to Clarity
Recently CNN reported that courts in California are debating whether to put cancer warnings on coffee. On the flip side, late last year, I read that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day could have significant benefits, including improved liver and heart health.
Of course, java isn’t the only topic of conflict when it comes to our health. In the 1960s the Atkins diet led its followers to believe bread, pasta, and other high-carb eats were the enemy. Later we learned not all grains are created equal. Those produced from whole, unrefined grains contain fewer sugars, more nutrients, and our bodies process them differently.
There have also been varying degrees of contest on whether plant-based diets provide the optimum recipe for health and longevity. In 2015, the World Health Organization revised its guidelines on the consumption of meat to include labels “carcinogenic” and “probably carcinogenic to humans” on processed meats and red meat. This includes hot dogs, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat, lunch meats, and bacon, to name a few. And to think I grew up eating Spam and eggs, fried bologna, and sardines slathered in mustard (my favorite).
The contradictory give-and-take continue when we adjudge exercise, wine, sun exposure, sleep, sugar, and dairy…the list goes on and on. We can end up concluding, Everything’s bad for me, so what’s the point in trying? In the end, confusion can even lead us to complacency.
In a world of head-scratching and head-butting ideas, aren’t we glad that the Catholic faith is clear? As stated by the U.S. Bishops, the “Catholic belief is succinctly expressed in the profession of faith or credo called the Nicene Creed.” Additionally, thanks to resources like the Bible, the Catechism, the Catholic bishops, and the pope, we also have clear-cut guidelines on issues of morality, social justice, love and sexuality, and so much more.
And in this month of celebrating Easter, may we acknowledge another constant of our faith, the kerygma, or heart of the gospel message: Jesus is risen and Jesus is Lord! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Elizabeth A. Herzing