The Art of Sleep


A few years ago I was on retreat with the Society of St John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Mass. It was a led retreat for clergy and near the beginning the facilitator went through the schedule and the things we might want to think about. He also told us to sleep, that sleeping was not a guilty pleasure, that it was a gift from God. Clergy have to be reminded about self-care and being told to sleep was a gift.

Yet, we battle sleep. We see it as the enemy, as a point of resignation. I admit that this blog is a little later today because I fell asleep yesterday evening - there was a good reason why I was so tired. I was irritated with myself when I realized this morning but I also thanked God for the sleep. I remembered the sacredness of sleep and thanked God that I usually sleep well, and prayed for those who do not. Lent is a time of rediscovery and return, that can mean returning to our basic needs, sleep, however we find it, is a gift and we should treat it as such.

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