"For Your glory, Lord," I pray between breaths as I push myself to keeping running. "May my run and my day be spent for Your glory. Be magnified in me. Let my life reflect Your glory in me." And so continue my unspoken prayers as I offer up my entire day.
It wasn't until I took my running seriously that I understood how I can glorify God in my body. Let's be honest—if I don't sleep well, eat right, or keep my body healthy, I'm a cranky wife and mother, prone to angry outbursts, laziness, and even illness. By caring for my health so that I may be physically fit as well as spiritually and mentally strong, I am best able to serve Him through my family and all the other ways He calls me. I magnify Christ more when I care for the body and talents He gave me, and, like Saint Paul and all the Saints, bear fruit from my labors.
That Saint Paul wrote his letter from prison, most likely a place of great physical and spiritual suffering, fuels my desire to magnify Christ even more. I know my struggles do not compare with imprisonment nor the sufferings of so many people in the world.
How quick I am to complain about my first-world problems!
Other Saints who similarly magnified Christ through their lives, even in suffering, come to mind: Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Chiara Badano. These amazing people gave glory to God in health and suffering! Their love of the Lord radiated through their good works as well as their spiritual joy.
Learning from these Saints, I'm inspired to more intentionally offer everything for Christ. Suffering can be fruitful, as the Church has long taught. (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1505). It is my renewed goal to embrace the difficult parts of my life, to offer it all to God (rather than complaining), to rejoice in hope that Christ will be magnified through my life. So whether I run or fold laundry or handle a tantrum, I want to be like Saint Paul and magnify Christ.
Practice giving glory to God today in all you do, with the simple prayer, "For Your glory, Lord. Ad majorem dei gloriam."
Gina Fensterer is a Colorado native at heart, but the West Coast beach life suits her just fine. She currently lives in small coastal area of California with her husband and six children. She loves the Jesus prayer, coffee at any time of day, homemade salsa, photography, and sleepy toddler snuggles. You can find out more about her here.