The gift of rest is important to our life for at least two important reasons.
First, sufficient, quality rest is essential to the proper stewardship of the gifts of our physical and mental health. Proper sleep, time for recreation and opportunities to “unwind” are essential to mitigate the effects of stress and fatigue. While we often forget that good health is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us, we can equally forget that it is our responsibility, to the best of our ability, to care for this great gift. Rest is essential in the stewardship of good health.
Periods of rest are also very important in the proper development of our spiritual lives. For example, when we pray, how often have we experienced distractions because our minds are running ahead of our ability to quiet them down? How many times have we fallen asleep while praying because we are physically tired? Have we ever become cross or angry with our family and friends, for no apparent reason except that we were “irritable” (often caused because we are tired or distracted)? A healthy prayer life demands that we take time to rest and rejuvenate ourselves so that we can spend quality time with the Lord in prayer and service of His people. Rest also allows us to take a step back from our ordinary life and see the world anew, with a fresh and rested set of eyes.
Summer is the time when we have the opportunity to take some time away and rest. Let us use this time well. Our spiritual, physical and mental health depend upon it.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!