First question:

Are you sleeping all right?

A Peaceful BedroomIf you're not sleeping well, maybe something's troubling you, or it could be you just eat the wrong food before going to bed.

But think too about sleep's spiritual meaning. Sleep is one of God's moments. A time that refreshes; a time when God counsels and inspires. God sends dreams in sleep, the bible says. Sleep is a time we are in God's hands.

Some people, though, see sleep as a weakness. They want to work day and night. Or they want to worry through the night. Sleep takes away their control.

The French writer, Charles Peguy, wrote a poem called "Sleep" in which God asks why people can't sleep? Is it because they don't have confidence in divine care, God says? Do they think they have to do everything themselves?

And so God says:

Evening
As if I wasn't capable, if you please, of looking after your life a little.
Of watching over it.
You might perhaps leave your business in my hands,
Maybe I am just as wise as you are.
You might perhaps leave it to me for the space of a night.
While you are asleep...
because between now and tomorrow, maybe I, God, will have passed your way.
Human wisdom says: Woe to the one who puts off what he has to do until tomorrow.
And I say Blessed, blessed is the one who puts off what he has to do until tomorrow.
Blessed is he who puts it off. That is to say Blessed is he who hopes.
And who sleeps.

Are you sleeping well? Do you have hope? Do you let yourself rest in God's care? Not an easy thing to do, unless we keep our souls childlike.

"Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace. As a child rests in its mother's arms, even so my soul." (Psalm 131, 3-4 ) Or think of think of the beautiful prayer of Jesus, taken from the psalms: "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." Simple prayers in the evening may recall us to a trust like that.

Are you eating all right?

Christ, crucified

Email questions or comments about this page to Fr Victor Hoagland, C.P.

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