During this COVID-19 crisis, many will spend their time in leisure – or they should.
With so many cancellations, in which the majority of sports and events are being closed down, it is critical for us to understand what leisure is and why it is important. We can spend our many idle hours being consumed in mindless activities like binge watching shows, or we could enter leisure for its true intention – contemplation. Psalm 46:10 gives us the proper guidance: “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Leisure should not be used as it is mostly described in today’s secular society as amusement or entertainment. While it should be used for prayer and silence, we must also heed the words of Pope Francis to use our time in prayer and silence to lead to action. We cannot allow our selves to be quarantined from spending time with Jesus and growing in our faith; we must use this time to prepare ourselves so when we are called to service, we can answer that call properly.
At the feast day of the Presentation of Mary in 2018, Pope Francis stated, “In order for your contemplative life to be meaningful for the Church and for today’s world, it is necessary to focus on a formation that is adapted to the needs of the present moment: an integral formation, personalized and well-accompanied.” While Pope Francis dedicated this quote to those who live the cloistered or monastic life, he reminded us that it is everyone’s obligation to support and uphold contemplation. Contemplation is a time for us to listen and absorb, not as a form of escapism, but because as Pope Francis noted, “unless we listen, all our words will be nothing but useless chatter.”
Use your leisure time wisely.