Recreation as “re-creation” of both body and spirit

August 23, 2018

The great Saint and Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, in speaking about the necessity of recreation in a balanced life, says:

“Balance, then, in all things: prayer, work and recreation—and this being a message for all, for to pray constantly, one can fatigue the soul; to work constantly, one can fatigue the body; and to recreate constantly, one runs the risk of leading himself into the vice of buffoonery.”

Recreation is often looked upon as a waste of time, often even by those who are spiritual. Yet the prudent know that the spirit, like the body, has requirements that when sensibly met, fit it for better service to higher ends.

Beyond its practical benefits, recreation also has a higher significance. It is a reminder that ends surpass means, that when the toil of this life has passed, an Eternal Day of rejoicing will dawn. On that great Day, the contemplation of God above all will be our happiness, but not lacking will be the fellowship of the Saints, the unearthly delights of a glorified body, and a host of inconceivable enjoyments which have yet to enter into the heart of man. Times of recreation, then, are not divorced from the spiritual life. They are spent in God’s presence and directed to His service. For all time is His. (KHE Spirituality)

Since all time is the Lord’s, even our times of recreation are not devoid of God’s presence. They are moments which amount to holiness if we are open to embracing it. Our Foundress, Mother Angelica, spoke of this when she said,

“To be able to say yes to God at every moment of our lives is the essence of holiness. It really doesn’t matter whether you are at prayer, whether you are working, whether you’re recreating, whether you’re eating or sleeping—nothing should separate you from Jesus.”

It is by living in the Present Moment that our times of recreation help to re-create us as we strive moment by moment to serve Him who King and Creator of all.

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