Something that has always stuck in the back of my mind is a story about St. Francis at the end of his life. St. Francis, at the end of his life, apologized to his body for treating it so horribly. Francis practiced severe acts of mortification and penance and pushed himself in the work of God so forcefully that at the end of his life his body was breaking down severely.
This story has always been there in the back of my mind convicting me that I need to try harder and push myself further. I had a conversation several times with a former co-worker about the issue of sleep. I have a natural inclination to want to sleep less and less because it seems like there are never enough hours in a day. My co-worker would always talk about how important sleep and rest are when you are serving God because it’s the time when we are rejuvenated and healed from the day. I definitely understand this but I also think in this day and age we to often err on the side of getting too much sleep, too much relaxation, too much of a break.
I have always struggled against my inclination to give myself a break. At the end of my life I want to know I have worked tirelessly and that I didn’t give myself a break at all. At the end when Jesus opens His arms I want to knock Him over because I will have been running towards Him.
Why not just run towards Jesus tirelessly. Don’t worry about doing too much. Don’t give yourself a break. If you are living a Radical Catholic Life and listening to God on a daily basis then He will lead you into rest. Right now what you should worry about is doing more to build the kingdom, doing more to shed those anchors that keep us from Jesus.
Embrace Jesus fully today. Do whatever needs to be done to make room for Him in your life. He is worth it
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.