Praised be Jesus Christ! Now that summer is almost officially here (June 21), it’s a good time to think about recreation and how it contributes to our well-being. Not that the gamers (i.e. people who spend an inordinate amount of time playing video games) out there are actually reading this, but it’s safe to say that not all hobbies produce virtue and true inner peace. One thing we must keep in mind is that virtue is almost always found in between two extremes. For example, a workaholic and a sluggard both have an unhealthy sense of the role of work. The virtuous person remembers that God Himself rested on the seventh day, therefore paving the way to true recreation. One characteristic of a virtuous hobby is that it is good for us, both physically and spiritually. We live in a sedentary society, one that does far less physical work than was the case even just a generation ago. Everyone knows the benefits of exercise but that in and of itself is not sufficient to get us off the couch. Walking is a great way to get outside and do some- thing that is good for body and soul. I meet a friend every week for an hour-long walk and I also walk to the Adoration chapel every Wednesday morning. Like all of you, I’d like to get out more often, but I’m grateful to have at least two times every week when I walk for a significant amount of time. And while nobody would ever claim that it’s a genuine form of recreation, fasting is one of the best things we can do for both body and soul. One expert had this to say: “Studies tell us that among other benefits, fasting increases growth hormone levels, maintains muscle and bone tissue, reduces inflammation, improves our memory, produces clarity in thinking, boosts metabolism, increases insulin sensitivity, and of course everyone’s favorite, supports fat loss.” Couple fasting with regular exercise and both your body and soul will thank you – now that’s true recreation. Along more conventional lines, people find travel, reading, and a good movie to be restorative – these can be relatively inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable. For example, we have an exceptional library in Marshfield and if they don’t have the book you’re looking for, they can acquire it at no cost. Recently the News Herald listed the top 20 places to visit in Wisconsin and it was a convincing reminder of all the beautiful day trips one could make without breaking the bank. When we were kids Dad would take us to Ontario (it’s in Wisconsin) where we canoed the Kickapoo River. Those are memories I will have for all of my lifetime. Another memory I have of sum- mer nights is of the Aurora Borealis, the extraordinary “northern lights.” About once a summer I was out late enough to see the night time sky come to life and seemingly dance in a most exotic way. For those who camp, a night out under the stars is just about as inspiring, especially if you time it with the annual “tears of Saint Lawrence,” the Perseid meteor shower that peaks around the feast of St. Lawrence (August 10th). I went fishing on the Gulf of Mexico in August of 2002 and on the way down the Mississippi Delta we witnessed dozens of falling stars; again, a memory I will have with me for all of my days. Saint Francis and others discovered the reality that Moth- er Nature is a sort of 5th Gospel – it reveals a lot about God and His extraordinary creativity. I hope we have a chance to get out this summer and enjoy the world God gave us. We can only thrive when we attain balance between the work God has given us to accomplish and the need for recreation. And so may our leisure be virtuous and our work ever more tranquil.
May God show us how to rest in Him as we receive His Son in Holy Communion every Sunday!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
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Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
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Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More