Maintenance work is always a necessity for us. It has to be done in everything that we handle, big or small, institutional or personal, especially when talking about our health. And it is not only for the oldies, who expectedly would already have some health conditions. It has to be done also by the young ones who may still be in the pink of health.
In spite of the generally good condition of the young ones, they have to have some occasional check-ups to see if their bodily organism is still in good shape. We know that some serious health issues can pop up anytime despite their good appearance. And it would be good if these health issues can be detected as early as possible, so that the appropriate action can be given and the proper maintenance regimen can be prescribed.
But more important than taking care of our physical health is our duty to take care of our spiritual health. This dimension of our life certainly needs the appropriate maintenance regimen, because it too, more than our physical condition, is exposed to more challenging tests and drama.
If we go by our Christian understanding of man, we know that man is made of body and a spiritual soul. Though both are important since they are constituent parts of our nature, it is actually the spiritual soul that has greater value, since it is the one that gives life to us. In fact, since our soul is spiritual, it is also immortal. It can continue to exist despite our death where the body disintegrates.
As Christ said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” (Jn 6,63) Though these words of Christ would need further explanation to be properly understood, we can already cite them as basis for the assertion that our spiritual soul has greater importance than our body.
It is for this reason that whatever our age and condition in life, we should closely monitor our spiritual health. Is it still strong, vigorous and productive? Or is it weakening, sick or dying?
Our spiritual life always needs some maintenance regimen even if it appears to be healthy at the moment. That’s because whatever good condition we may have at the moment can easily get spoiled even with a passing temptation or distraction.
We may be charitable and kind now to others, but at the next moment we would notice that we become filled with anger and even hatred against somebody who may annoy us. Or we can be pure and chaste now, yet it only takes a little distraction before we get assaulted by the strong stirrings of lust and sensuality. That’s how our spiritual life is. We should just acknowledge that fact of life and be prepared for it.
The maintenance regimen for our spiritual life may involve a strong and abiding prayer life that would lead us to have constant presence of God, enabling us to develop a genuine contemplative spirit where we can manage to see God everywhere and feel his love for us and be inspired to love everyone ourselves.
It’s important that we have a working life of piety that includes recourse to the sacraments, continuing formation in the areas of spirituality, asceticism, developing and deepening of virtues, regular examinations of conscience and confession if only to monitor the state of our spiritual life regularly, etc.*