If a church is built to enshrine the Blessed Sacrament, it needs to be built well ... And the same applies to the physical temple which we’ve been given to enshrine the Holy Spirit.
Looking after our health is important and looking after our spiritual health is the most important thing of all. Since this is so, the neglect of our health, especially our spiritual health, is perilous to our wellbeing in this life and the next.
Each of us has our own way of trying to stay healthy. Speaking personally, I try to live my daily life in accordance with what I call a healthy trinity. This involves finding adequate time each day for spiritual exercise, intellectual exercise, and physical exercise. The first is the most important but it is served by the other two to such a degree that, for me at least, they have become interwoven and inseparable.
Since faith is inseparable from reason, it is important to have the reason to believe. Blind faith is dangerous. Faith needs to see where it is going and why it is going there. This is why understanding our faith needs intellectual engagement. Our spiritual exercise, our life of prayer, is strengthened by intellectual exercise, our life of reason.
But what of physical health? Is this so important? In one sense it could be argued that it isn’t. Many saints have endured poor health in weak and feeble bodies. We don’t have to have perfectly healthy bodies to enter the kingdom of heaven. And yet we need to remember that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. If we respect the Holy Spirit, we will respect the body in which He chooses to abide. Indeed, if our bodies are temples, we can liken them to churches. If a church is built to enshrine the tabernacle that enshrines the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, it needs to be built well so that it can withstand all types of weather. And the same applies to the physical temple which we’ve been given to enshrine the Holy Spirit.
And this is why I try to live in accordance with the healthy trinity every single day, finding time for spiritual exercise, intellectual exercise, and physical exercise. Soul, mind, and body. This is the means, I hope and pray, that healthiness can lead to the wholeness which is holiness.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we pray for health of mind, body and soul that we might have the faith, reason and strength to lay down our lives in emulation of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.