After his recent trip to Canada, Pope Francis is pooped out, lamenting that he can no longer travel like he used to. Not to denigrate the Bishop of Rome, but his plight offers a helpful lesson to all of us on preventive care.
Pope Francis Will Limit Travel As He Faces Physical Ailments – Offering A Great Reminder To All Of Us
I’m not a doctor and I’m not a nutritionist. I don’t even speak specifically to what led to the Pope’s ailments, rather than reflect upon the predicament he is now in.
Speaking on the papal aircraft, Francis told reporters that his recent trip was a “test” and that it showed him he must slow down. The Pope has been forced to use a wheelchair in recent months due to an ongoing strained knee ligament.
Will he resign?
“I don’t think I can move at the same pace of travel as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to cut back a little bit to be able to serve the Church or, on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside. This is nothing strange. This is not a catastrophe. You can change the pope. You can change, no problem. But I think I have to limit myself a little bit with these efforts.”
Surely, Francis would stipulate that good health is a gift from above, but the human body we are entrusted with can wear down faster than necessary when we abuse or neglect it.
When it is our time to suffer or time to die, it is our time…ironically sometimes those who we thought were the healthiest are the ones who drop dead when we least expect it. Even so, most can enjoy a longer and higher quality of life…which includes extended years of travel…by exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep…small daily lifestyle choices that make a world of difference.
That may not have been Francis’ problem, but it is a huge problem for many people I hold near and dear to my heart.
So a simple admonition for you today: get up and move. Choose healthy food over junk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go on a walk. Hit the gym. Sit in a sauna. Sleep.
It’s not rocket science. Our bodies are resilient, but they can only take so much wear and tear.
Seeing the any person relegated to a wheelchair is a sad thing. While sometimes we cannot prepare for what happens as we age, the Pope reminds us that by more preventative care, exercise, and healthy eating we can continue to travel the world well into our 80’s and beyond. That’s one of my goals…travel till I die. It appears the Pope won’t be traveling much any longer.
image: Catholic News Agency