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By Michael Pakaluk, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 20, 2019

Michael PakalukIf someone was wondering how many minutes he should exercise daily for good health, you might know the answer (30 minutes).  But if you didn’t, you wouldn’t doubt that there was an objective answer.  And you’d have an idea where to look for it (e.g. the U.S. Dept of Health).

You’d understand that that number was a minimum.  Someone who needed to lose weight, or an athlete in training, would need to exercise a lot more than that. But you’d grasp this idea of what, objectively, “the average person generally needs for good health.”  To live well means to build at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity into your daily schedule.  We all sense this and know it implicitly.

But I want to pose the corresponding question for the soul.  We say that there is a soul, and that the body in many ways represents the soul.  There is activity of the soul, and health and strength, too.  So it seems we can ask: how many minutes should I exercise my soul each day for good spiritual health?  Here, in contrast, although the matter is more important, we tend to think there is no objective answer, and we wouldn’t be sure of which authorities to appeal to, in order to answer it. ….