The health benefits of going to Church.
Yes, you read that correctly: the health benefits of going to Church. There's more than just getting a good nap during the homily!
Of course, there is little denying a sad truth: church attendance is generally going down. Here's a video that discusses the problem and provides an interesting, if not surprising, way to reverse the trend (although it is story that covers Protestant churches in Canada, it certainly applies to Catholic churches in the U.S.):
So, if it is so difficult to get people to go to church for spiritual reasons, how about appealing to them in another way? Recently
a Jesuit-run magazine publisher (so appropriate following the feast day for St. Ignatius celebrated last Tuesday) released an article that outlines the physical and psychological benefits of regular worship. As the article begins, it says how this is a sensible conclusion that the Church has known for several centuries, starting with one of the prefaces for the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration:
For, although you [God] have no need of our praise,
yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift,
since our prayers add nothing to your greatness
but profit us for salvation, through Christ our Lord.
Common Preface IV
, Roman Missal)
While you can read the justifications for going so by following the link at the end of this article, attending church can give you:
Better sleep (
during the homily, of course!)
Less risk for depression and suicide
A happier, more stable and satisfying marriage
A longer life
Lower blood pressure
Of course, if it is good for your health to simply
at Mass, imagine how much more it can be to consider a way to take an even
active part (such as singing, reading, serving, just to name a few)!
"5 Surprising Health Benefits of Church Attendance", (
The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.
C.S. Lewis, Christian philosopher and author
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Movie (90 minutes) -
St. Maximillian Kolbe: Life for Life
Auschwitz, 1941. One of the prisoners, Jan, escapes from the German concentration camp while working at a gravel pit. Thanks to the help of kind-hearted people, he finds shelter. There Jan hears tragic news about ten random inmates sentenced by the Nazis to death by starvation as a punishment for his escape. One among the convicts is Fr. Maximillian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest who volunteered to die in place of one of the inmates.
Now Jan is not just fleeing the Nazis, but also from his guilt for his involvement in Kolbe's death. He goes to visit Niepokalanów, a very large Franciscan monastery, where Fr. Kolbe had been the founder and superior. There Jan wants to learn what were the motives behind his decision to die for another prisoner, a complete stranger. Though free from Auschwitz, Jan will continue to be confronted by the life and death of Maximilian Kolbe wherever he goes.
In addition to Jan—torn between wanting to forget and a fascination with Kolbe—another key character emerges, Brother Anselm. He is a devout young Franciscan priest who quietly but strongly witnesses to Kolbe's heroic faith and love, and then rejoices at the beatification of Kolbe by Pope Paul VI. Later Kolbe will be canonized by his fellow countryman, Pope St. John Paul II, who proclaimed Kolbe as the "patron saint of the difficult 20th century."
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Sent by Fr. Ed Blanchett on Friday, August 3 at 3:00PM