On the Importance of a Good Night's Rest

As students and even teachers begin to plunge into the responsibilities of the new academic year (responsibilities that can lead to many late nights and early mornings), St. Ignatius of Loyola, ever the practical mystic, reminds us that we better not ignore the need for rest. In a 1536 letter to Teresa Rejadell, he wrote:

 . . . Many of those who are given to prayer and contemplation experience that just before it is time for them to go to sleep, they are unable to do so because they have been busy working their minds, and later they go on thinking of the subjects that they have been contemplating and imagining. This is where the Enemy does his best to maintain good thoughts, so that the body will suffer being deprived of sleep. Something to be avoided at all costs! With a healthy body, there is much that you can do; but with the body ill, I have no idea what you will be able to do. A healthy body is a great help, to do both much evil and much good -- much evil with those who are depraved of mind and accustomed to sin, much good with those who have their minds set on God Our Lord and are accustomed to good deeds.

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