By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
THERE are, of course, different ways and kinds of rest. But we should try to have a really good one that is fit for our dignity as persons and children of God. And this kind of rest can only be found in Christ who precisely said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11,28)
It is this rest that takes care of all the aspects of our need for rest—physical, mental, emotional, etc.—integrating them and reinforcing them in their contributions to serve, rather than undermine, our human and Christian dignity.
With this rest, our love for God and for others continues to vibrate. In fact, with this rest, our love for God and for others would grow and would keep on being creative and inventive. With this rest, a certain renewal takes place that would trigger impulses and drive to continue doing good in spite of difficulties.
It is this rest that would prefigure the ultimate heavenly rest that Christ promised us to enjoy, where endless and pure bliss is assured. Of course, in our temporal and earthly life, our rest would always include some sacrifice, and we should not be surprised by that reality. We need to understand that a really good rest is one that will always nourish and fuel our love for God and for others. Otherwise, it is not a real rest.
We have to be wary of associating our rest with the merely physical, mental or emotional, etc., because without basing it on Christ they can only give us some semblance of rest but not the real one. Sooner and later it can only lead us to some anomalies and irregularities that, of course, are not proper to us.
Sad to say, the common idea of rest nowadays is one where Christ is not the basis and the end. It is the kind that does not result in the renewal and growth of real love. It rather feeds ourself-love, definitely a sweet poison.
And as a consequence, it is a deceptive kind of rest that can give some feelings of rest that actually would give rise to conditions that would rouse our weaknesses and would attract all kinds of temptations. It tickles the flesh but numbs the spirit. We would become vulnerable to our weakness and the temptations.
We need to clarify this issue of our rest, and find practical and attractive ways to make the really good rest appreciated by all. As said earlier, our real rest may involve some sacrifice, but we have to reassure everyone that the dividends of such rest far outweigh the sacrifices that may be involved.
We need to sustain some kind of campaign in this regard, encouraging some people to be models and experts in showing and explaining what a really good rest is. Now that we are facing tremendous and complicated challenges in practically every aspect of our life, we really need to inculcate in everyone the true kind of rest.
Yes, to this end, there will be considerations about the virtues of order, sense of priority, prudence, and the practices of prayer, meditation and contemplation, as well as self-denial and a healthy spirit of mortification.
We have to find ways of how to relate the different kinds and forms of resting to the real rest that has Christ at the root, center and end. It’s a pity that we seem to have developed very sophisticated forms of physical, mental, emotional rest, etc., but fail to connect them to the real source and objective of rest.
Let’s hope that some people would dedicate time and energy in developing programs that would attend to these problems and deficiencies insofar as the really good rest is concerned.