475th Meditation

“If your soul dwells too long in the world of nothingness, it becomes emptier” (Inner Word).

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” – says the Lord in the Gospel (Lk 6:45). This phrase should be understood in the same sense as the Inner Word we have just heard. We need to learn from our Heavenly Father how to manage our free time so that we are not tempted to overload ourselves with useless things. We may not realise at first how this affects us, but our soul knows very well how to distinguish the nourishment we give it. It makes a big difference whether we feed it with good food, which leads it to seek our Father and to be close to Him, or whether we fill it with one distraction after another, which in the long run damages it and weakens it for the spiritual battle it is called to fight.

St Paul mentions in one of his letters that “All things are lawful, but not all things build up” (1 Cor 10:23).

What does this mean in relation to our theme today?

Certainly, moments of healthy enjoyment are not sinful, and of course it is permissible for us to have spaces for recreation. But the question is how much time and importance we give to this recreation, what its content is, and where it can lead us if we do not handle it wisely. If we devote too much time to it, instead of the soul being recreated and relaxed, a certain emptiness increases in it. This is especially true when we focus our attention on things that have little or no value; that is, when we descend into the “world of nothing”. There the soul receives no nourishment to help it on its way to God, but suffers from the loss of valuable time that would be better spent working for the Kingdom of our Father. It finds itself preoccupied with things which, though lawful, are “not fitting”.

It is good that we pay attention to the subtle guidance of the Holy Spirit in this area as well, so that we do not lose the strength and concentration of our soul, which, when overloaded with useless things, becomes sluggish and finds it difficult to concentrate on the spiritual life.