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Opinion

On the matter of rest

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt 11,28-30)

Words of Christ that clearly tell us where we can find true rest, as well as the kind of things we need do and bear if we want these things to be light and easy. These are words that are most relevant these days, since we are often confused and lost as to where we can find true rest and the kind of things that should properly engage us.

With how things are now in the world of rest, recreation, and entertainment, there is a great need to develop in ourselves a sharp discerning sense of what is truly helpful and healthy.

Our need for rest just cannot and should not be met merely by earthly solutions. Our rest should involve our whole being that is not only material and natural, but also, and most especially, spiritual and supernatural.

Unless our rest covers these latter dimensions, we can never find true rest. We may have some degree of physical relief which, if not related to the spiritual and the supernatural, can only poise us to greater dangers sooner or later.

To be sure, our true and proper rest can only be found in Christ. He gives us the rest that is not only physical. It is a rest that includes all the aspects of our life --emotional, psychological, mental, moral and spiritual. We need to broaden our understanding of rest to go beyond the physical dimension.

Christ offers us the due rest for our soul that can be harassed by the problems of this world and the requirements of our lifelong pursuit for holiness and apostolate. (cfr. Mt 11,29) This is the real rest that is indeed meant for us. Short of this, our rest would be at best only apparent, and cannot cope with the overall demands and pressures of our life.

For this he advises us to learn from him, particularly in his meekness and humility. I imagine that these virtues were highlighted because they are the ones that would open the gates of our soul to receive God’s grace, to be guided by faith rather than simply by our senses and emotions and even by our intellectual powers.

We have to see to it that our search for rest should not get stuck in the level of our physical, emotional, and intellectual conditions. This is a crucial point because the entry point in our process of knowing is through our senses, instincts, and emotions, before things get processed by our intellect, and later inspired by our faith. We should avoid letting our rest get trapped only in the world of the senses, instincts, and emotions.

Our Christian faith has to enlighten us as to what kind of rest is proper to us. This faith is a God-given view of all the truths that we need to know. It is God revealing and sharing his knowledge of things with us. It is God sharing his powers with us. We just should not be guided by our own lights and faculties, but by the light God gives us through the gift of faith.

To be sure, our faith is not just an intellectual affair, limited to the world of ideas. It involves our whole person and requires that our correspondence to it should precisely involve our whole person. Our search for true rest should be guided by our Christian faith.

CHRISTIAN

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