Health and Holiness

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As Christians, we are concerned about the health of our souls. We pray, we fast, we read the Bible. We go to Mass and reconciliation. These are all good things. Our spiritual health is important but we need to also be concerned with our physical health and the health of this world in which we live. God created us different from the angels. He gave us bodies and placed us here on earth for a reason. In the words of C. S. Lewis:

“God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this is rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.” (Mere Christianity)

Our bodies are a gift from God and we need to treat them with care and concern. We can’t all be great athletes and most of us are not in perfect health but we can all work to be as healthy as possible. Even a little change in how we eat or a little increase in physical activity can go a long way to making us feel better.  So, let’s all take a walk, or go for a bike ride, or swing a golf club. Let’s drink a little more water and fewer soft drinks.

Likewise, the earth needs our loving care. In Genesis 1:28, when God said “Have dominion over…the earth”, He was placing creation under the stewardship of man. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger puts it:

“This does not mean: Enslave it! Exploit it! Do with it what you will! No, what it does mean is: Recognize it as God’s gift! Guard it and look after it, as sons look after what they have inherited from their father.” (The Spirit of the Liturgy)

Let’s all treat the world around us as a precious gift. If each of us take just a few steps to ease our burden on the earth, the result would be great.

Like the first servant in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), our goal is to hear our Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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