Feeding Body and Soul
I spent a lot of time this weekend reading up on healthy eating and healthy living. It’s amazing how easy it is to get something quick to eat without a thought to what that quick food can do to your body and then the affects of eating all of that fast food. Our bodies require basic nutrients in order to function properly, and if we don’t get those basic nutrients our bodies start to break down and we begin to feel poorly. So we need to be diligent in the foods and beverages that we consume; we are what we eat.
As usual, God has a way of taking what we do in our daily life and then he applies a lesson to it.
I am perpetually behind on my Magnificat readings and so I just read September 3rd today. September 3rd is the memorial for Saint Gregory the Great, one of the most important popes of the middle ages. Magnificat’s meditation for the day was taken from Forty Gospel Homilies (Cistercian Studies Series , 123), and this part really struck me:
As you daily provide food for your bodies to keep them from failing, so let your good works be the daily nourishment of your hearts. The body is fed with food, the spirit sustained by good works. You should not deny to your soul, which will live for ever, what you grant to your body which is going to die.
Regardless of whether or not we eat healthy or not, we still take the time to consume food. We feel the bodily hunger and we eat. Do we feel the hunger in our souls? I believe we do, but we don’t necessarily identify it as spiritual hunger. Those of us that have the grace to clearly identify our spiritual hunger and feed it properly by doing good works have the opportunity to help others feed their spiritual hunger, but as St. Gregory also says in the same passage:
Do everything for each other freely. Do not seek recompense for your work in this world, which you now see to have declined with such great rapidity, lest you do evil in any way, and do good for the sake of temporal recompense.
So feed your body with good food and more importantly feed your soul with good works. As St. Peter addresses his fellow presbyters in 1 Peter 5:1-4:
Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by contraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock.