A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Taking Care of the Temple

Posted on: June 5, 2015

I dropped in for a yoga class shortly after 9 a.m. today, even though I was low on steam. Toward the end of the hour, the instructor reminded us that, by showing up and working through the poses, we were taking care of our bodies.

How mindful are we of that these days? For all of our society’s abundance, too many of us go through our days starved for restful sleep, healthful food and physical activity.

We know we need these things, but we say we’re tired or busy as though these were badges of honour. We struggle to pull together healthy meals, with meal prep one more task among many. We’re challenged to find the time and energy to break a sweat.

A few days ago, I read these words in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17*:

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? . . . For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.

And in 1 Corinthians 6:19:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?

Now the apostle Paul was reminding his readers to avoid sexual immorality, but are we not mistreating our bodies when we deprive them of sleep, good food, and exercise? And by failing to properly rest, fuel and move our bodies, do we not limit our ability to carry out our work and chores, tend to the needs of our family, and serve our parish and community?

In Psalm 139:14, the psalmist says, “I praise you, for I am wondrously made.” We need to do more than acknowledge the truth of these words; we need to show we’re thankful for what our bodies can do and take care of them so that they can serve us well—and we in turn can serve God well.

I pray that we would take even a small step toward taking better care of ourselves—drinking more water, eating more whole foods, carving out 15 minutes for exercise, getting 15 more minutes of sleep.

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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