Sanctifying fatigue

Jesus also makes use of the moments in which he takes new strength to stir souls. While resting at Jacob's well, a woman approached him, ready to fill her pitcher with water. That will be the opportunity that the Lord will take advantage of to move this Samaritan woman to a radical change of life6.

We too know that even our moments of fatigue must not pass in vain. "Only after death will we know how many sinners we have helped to be saved by the offering of our fatigue. Only then will we understand that our enforced inactivity and our sufferings can be more useful to our neighbor than our effective services." Let us never cease to offer those periods of prostration or of uselessness due to exhaustion or sickness. Nor in such circumstances should we fail to help others.

Fatigue teaches us to be humble and to live charity better. We then realize that we cannot do everything and that we need others; letting ourselves be helped greatly favors humility. At the same time, since we all find ourselves more or less fatigued, we understand better the advice of St. Paul to bear one another's burdens,8 and we understand that any help we give to those we see to be somewhat burdened is always a great manifestation of charity.

Fatigue is beneficial in encouraging detachment from the many things we would like to do but do not get to because of our limited strength. It also helps us to grow in the virtue of fortitude and the corresponding human virtue of hardiness, for it is a fact that we will not always find ourselves in the fullness of strength and health to work, study, carry out a difficult task, etc., which we must nevertheless do. A no small part of these virtues consists in getting used to working tired or, at least, not feeling physically as well as we would like to be in order to carry out these tasks. If we do it for the Lord, He blesses them in a particular way.

The Christian considers life as an immense good, which does not belong to him and which he has to take care of; we have to live the years that God wills, having accomplished the task that has been entrusted to us. Consequently, for God's sake and for the sake of others, we must live by the rules of prudence in the care of our own health and that of those who in some way depend on us. Among these norms are "the opportune rests for distraction of the spirit and to consolidate the health of the spirit and of the body".

To stick to a schedule, to dedicate the appropriate time to sleep, to take a walk periodically or to go on a simple excursion, are means that are convenient to put in place, living order in our activity: perhaps to act otherwise - if an unpostponable obligation does not prevent it - would reveal lethargy and laziness, more harmful inasmuch as with this attitude we would be voluntarily putting ourselves in occasion of the deterioration of the interior life, falling into activism, being more prone to lose serenity, etc. An orderly person usually finds the way to live a prudent rest in the midst of a demanding and self-sacrificing activity.