The human person is a creature that combines a material body and a divinely created spirit soul in a union that is unique among all living creatures. One cannot survive in this life without the other. Our nature is almost a metaphoric union that mimics the union man seeks with God: the gross with the sublime, the common with the divine, the earthly with the heavenly. It is therefore surprising how much care we take for the health and well-being of the body while we almost entirely neglect the soul.
We get up every morning and clean our bodies and our teeth. We shave or we put on makeup or face creams to enhance our appearance to others. We get our hair neatly cleaned and combed, we feed ourselves the best food we can afford, get exercise if possible, see the doctor when we’re ill, take medicines to keep us from getting ill and literally spend hours every day of our lives in caring for our bodies that will someday fail and turn to dust.
Yet the soul is given so little time by most of us. We hardly ever think of her. She is to be the tabernacle within our bodies where Christ might come and abide with us in this life and we let her get covered in sin and impurities which is the spiritual equivalent of dirt and grime. When our souls are sick we do not always seek a physician for its health. If we do, we may not take the prescribed medicine as often as we should if we take it at all. That is simply negligence of the soul.
If we treated our bodies as we treat our poor souls, how long would we survive? So it strikes me that one should pay more attention to the soul and treat her as well if not better than we treat the material body to which she is bound.
What does our soul need for its health and well being? Simply put the indwelling of Christ. How can we create a soul wherein Christ will be sure to take up His dwelling there: by thoroughly cleansing the soul through contrition, penance and prayer. It is only then that our Communion of Christ in the Holy Eucharist has its greatest effect and He will remain in a soul that is pure and will give us divine assistance in keeping our souls in this condition. In this way He is with us throughout our day giving us all the graces needed to attain the virtues we need to combat our weaknesses; virtues that will prevent us from falling into sin and the grace to gain the moral and spiritual habits that will exercise the soul to her great benefit.
The next time we go for a run, lift weights, or eat health foods, we might think to ourselves, what have I done for my eternal soul today? You may want to find at least as much time to accommodate her needs as you have put aside for taking care of the physical half of our human makeup.
We are what we eat and the Body and Blood of Christ is what the soul needs most for her nourishment. Make sure you have done all that is necessary to receive this Heavenly food in a way that will afford the soul its maximum benefit.