Benefits of leisure have no price
The word “leisure” can be ambiguous in a country and culture that values long hours spent at the office.
Some don’t like leisure moments because they consider it time that could be better spent at the office, building a career, or making more money.
But theologians argue that the benefits of leisure time have no price. We should use it, they say, to find God and deepen our relationship with the divine in as many ways as imaginable.
Some, like Pope Benedict XVI, encourage Sunday to be set aside for prayer and meditation.
“Without the Lord and without the day that belongs to him,” the pope said in 2007 when he discussed leisure in a homily, “life does not flourish.”
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh encourages one full day a week devoted to “mindfulness,” being aware of every single motion, away from work, distractions, and worries.
“Without it we will lose ourselves quickly in a life full of worry and action, and our responses will become increasingly useless,” he writes.
There is no formula, no specific place or amount of time we need to devote to leisure. What matters is taking conscious moments devoted to ourselves in relation to God, to others or to the divine creation on earth.