by Javier Luis Gomez
Stewardship is one of the words that we need to re-imagine in our world today. In Catholic thought, it became attached to the idea of the environment and our role as stewards of creation. Too often, we hear this, and we think of a servant- and as is usually the case, we imagine a kind of environmental activist- running around scrambling to save our fragile planet. But we can expand our understanding of stewardship from activity to attitude. It can be about a way of thinking that is not just our work for the earth but also our relationship to our home.
We can begin small by thinking about our bodies this way. Today, it is the norm to treat the body as a machine. It is like a piece of equipment that we have to maintain, and tune up and oil all the time. Then when it ‘breaks down’ we become anxious and unhappy. But we are more than simply how well our bodies function.
To be stewards of the body must be about health and not maintenance. And so we can embrace ‘health’ in its widest possible meaning. More and more, science is showing us that our minds affect our bodies and vice versa. That a healthy mind expands itself onto the body, and that a healthy body clears and illumines the mind.
St Paul calls the body a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Cor 6:19). Like the temple, we want to be well kept both inside and out.
[As published in the September 4 issue of the Parish Bulletin.]