“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary” (Luke 18:1). The dictionary defines weary as “feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep.”
I remember calling my mother the night before a big college test, overwhelmed with all the material I still had to review. She wisely said, “You’ve done all you can; now say a prayer and go to sleep.” She knew sleeplessness would be a formidable enemy when I showed up for my test. At a moment when I couldn’t think straight, her wisdom saved me from myself.
In a letter To Mrs. Joséphine Gourd, Saint Peter Julian Eymard writes: Now about you, my dear daughter. Your insomnia, your burdened spirit, your lack of memory, all show that your health is weakening. So, as much as you can, through obedience, take more sleep. It is essential to our physical life. Do it as a good work; organize things to be more faithful.
If we want to be good disciples of Christ, we must care for ourselves. We are humans, not angels. We have bodies and souls. When we neglect the body, we leave an opening for the enemy to come for the soul.
It is as much a sin to deprive the body without discernment of what it really needs as it is to over-indulge. (Saint Francis of Assisi)
A famous quote by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina says, Pray, hope, and don’t worry. How best can we embody a childlike trust in God’s providence than when we fall into his arms and peacefully drift off to sleep? When we find ourselves becoming weary, let us ask: Is this God’s will? …or is it my own? Where am I placing my trust?
Let us pray:
Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. (Collect)