The value of spiritual exercise

We often hear the comment from someone getting older that they are “Aging like fine wine.”  Well, yes, wine does gets better with age, but sadly, the human body does not. My joints and muscles are no longer as flexible as they once were. My body does not recover as fast from aches and pains as it once did, and I no longer dream of playing football on the weekends or any rough contact sports for that matter.  My body seems to be aging more like cheese.  It is getting softer and moldier around the edges.  It might still be edible but it is not as fresh as it once was.  The good side of this issue is that my brain is more nimble and astute than ever. (IMHO) 
The body will inevitably deteriorate, (even with plastic surgery, knee and hip replacements etc.), but the brain does not necessarily age the same way. Studies have shown that IQ can remain the same throughout one’s life, if you keep “exercising” the brain by reading, studying and learning. Now of course, the body will stay in better shape as well if you keep up with some exercising.  However, no amount of exercising is going to keep the body in the same shape as when we were 21 or younger. 
Then we come to the soul and spirit. Here is where age can really excel over youth. Through experience and moral exercise, we can all become better then we were. We can continue to grow spiritually and morally throughout our entire lives. We can leave this earth as better people. We can give back to the world some of what we took from it. However, this also requires exercise. It requires exercise of both moral and spiritual values.  It requires moral and spiritual discipline. You will not grow in either area if you do not take the time to practice skills that lead to moral and spiritual development.  The virtues of faith, hope, charity and love must be practiced daily or they atrophy like old moldy cheese.
What exercise do you get each day?  Do you exercise morally and spiritually as well as physically and mentally?  Which areas do you need to concentrate more on?  Are you aging like a fine wine or like moldy cheese?  What do you need to do to perk up your aging process? 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anthony Trinh
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 18:19:14

    How do you exercise morally?

    I need to stop searching for success and perfection to perk up my aging process.



  2. John Persico
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 14:15:36

    Reading, reflection, meditation, thinking about what you did that might have hurt someone in the day. Reading about virtues and morals and how they impact our lives. Asking others to help guide us in our moral development. St. Ignatius had his spiritual exercises. I will bet there are lots of moral exercises besides those I mention. John



  3. Jeanine
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 14:41:52

    I love the saying I heard several years ago. It goes something like this, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. Play more and pray more!!



  4. John Persico
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 17:09:43

    Good thought, Thanks Jeanine for sharing it. I will add it to my repetoire of useful quotes.



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