Pope Francis I: ““We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning.”

Work and rest are the yin and yang forces that pervade all levels of being. If we work to exhaustion with no reprieve of mind and emotions, our bodies scream in rebellion. Inevitably, over prolonged periods of stress, we collapse.

The problem of our daily work is often that it is disintegrated from our whole selves. We are physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual beings. We are systems compacted within a biological mechanism. These systems depend on renewal on all levels.

To deplete one part of the system is to place stress upon the whole system. Conversely, to renew one part of the system is to contribute energy to the whole system. This is why a time of rest and fun feeds the corresponding times of exertion and tedium. We both retreat and propel in a steady state.

The most powerful statement we can make to ourselves and to the world is: I am here for a reason and I am fulfilling that purpose. When we are true to our passions, we can face the other times of tedium and grinding labor. But we must return to the well of living water. This is the power of contemplation.