I have had hypertension for many years now. I have managed to keep it under control through exercise, diet and medications. My medicines correct whatever imbalance in my organ systems and body processes that causes my blood pressure to spike. A healthy diet prevents my condition from getting worse and helps me avoid further cholesterol build-up and clogging up of my arteries. Exercise helps my body regenerate itself, strengthening my muscles and improving the tone of these muscles and of my blood vessels. Exercise also helps me burn away excess fat and break down cholesterol build-ups.
This is another self-evident truth which many people take for granted. When it comes to our muscles, the rule is “Use them or lose them.” As for our body, “Abuse it, you lose it.” And it is the same thing with our spirits. Just as the body needs healthy food and regular exercise, so does the spirit need nourishment and looking after for it to remain alive in us. I need spiritual food and I get that from the Eucharist. I need my daily spiritual exercise and I achieve that through my daily prayer.
I have always loved this quote from Mother Teresa because it captures this truth so clearly: “If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”
And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”