The Smoking Priest

The Smoking Priest

Summer Time and Enjoying Life

During my years in Spain and Mexico, it would be inevitable that interesting conversations with either Spaniards or Mexicans would take place regarding the differences between their countries and ours.  One man put it bluntly: “Look, the difference between us and you is that we work in order to live, and you live in order to work.” 

As I wrote in my book Get Serious! A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics, the root of America’s extreme activity is a profound restlessness rooted in troubled consciences and lives that have lost the sense of what it means to be a creature of God.  This frantic pace of life is being put to sleep with sex, drugs, alcohol, excessive entertainment and frantic work schedules.  Most people equate true leisure to laziness and irresponsibility.


In ancient Athens, a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys.  He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, “Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bow implies.”

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”


During one of my recent summer visits to my parents’ home who now live in Binghamton, NY, we were all playing a favorite card game on the back patio one Sunday afternoon.  All of a sudden a neighbor began to mow his lawn with a very loud lawnmower.  The noise of the lawnmower pierced the silence of the Sabbath.  Modern man needs long moments of silence.  Modern man needs a day without machines and gadgets.

“To avoid silence, we blindly grasp diversion, distraction.  As an effect of all this, disintegration is produced within us.  This ends up by giving birth to the feeling of aloneness, alienation, sadness and anxiety.  This is the tragedy of the people of our day. Without a doubt, the periodic cultivation of silence, solitude and contemplation are more necessary, religiously and psychologically, than ever before.  Our interiority is assaulted and battered by speed, noise and frenzy; we are at the same time, our own victim and executioner; and we end up feeling insecure and unhappy” ( Ignacio Larrañaga,  Sensing Your Hidden Presence, p. 187).


When a people no longer understand true leisure, they no longer know how to live.  Do not get sucked into this matrix of despair.

Hillaire Belloc once wrote, “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!” Adding to this thought, Father George Rutler said, “Joy on earth is a foretaste of the beatitude in heaven.” 

Summer is here.  Learn how to relax.  Sunday is a day of rest. Go to church and stay away from unnecessary work.  Be sure to take a nice vacation this summer.  Even the Pope takes a vacation. 

Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Taliyahh Rivasq

posted July 29, 2012 at 6:20 am

I’ve learned quite a few important things through your post. I’d also like to convey that there will be a situation where you will obtain a loan and do not need a co-signer such as a Federal Student Aid Loan. But if you are getting financing through a classic loan provider then you need to be prepared to have a co-signer ready to help you. The lenders may base any decision over a few elements but the most important will be your credit worthiness. There are some creditors that will also look at your job history and determine based on this but in many instances it will be based on on your ranking.

report abuse

e cigarette leaking

posted September 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic.

I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are
stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise.
I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a great site.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Thanksgiving Day and Gratitude
Cicero, the famous Roman senator and orator once wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”  The virtue of gratitude is the ability to express our thankful appreciation in word or deed, to the ...

posted 2:59:54am Nov. 21, 2011 | read full post »

The Alarming Rise of Depression
This week the Centers for Disease Control revealed some alarming statistics regarding the problem of depression here in the United States.  The use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400% since 1988. Antidepressant medication is the ...

posted 1:17:08am Oct. 22, 2011 | read full post »

Hit the Reset Button
You know the drill.  When some new gadget does not work, you just hit the reset button.  Even if the gadget does not have a reset button, there is some way to accomplish the same task.  When my Blackberry gets stuck, I just open up the back ...

posted 11:34:12pm Oct. 16, 2011 | read full post »

Smoking Away Your Anxiety
I enjoy a fine cigar after a long day of work.  For me, cigar smoking is very relaxing.  My most favorite brands are the Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970, the Kristoff Corojo Limitada, the Padron Classics and the Partagas Black.  For those of ...

posted 2:40:32am Oct. 10, 2011 | read full post »

The Remedy for Anxiety
“Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.”  This is how the dictionary defines the word anxiety.   Worry, fretfulness, apprehension and disquiet are all ...

posted 5:47:00pm Sep. 27, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.