2. See the attached item on Harriet Beecher Stowe.
preacher Henry Ward
Beecher (also renowned for his wit)were among
many Christians who led a health reform movement
in the mid-l9th- century. Like Ellen White and
Methodism’s John Wesley, their focus was on prevention.
Mrs. Stowe, the mother
of five children, wrote articles for magazines
to supplement her husband’s meager pastor’s
After her son, Charlie, became ill and died in 1849. she became keenly healthy lifestyles.
She wrote: “Like the
principles of spiritual religion, the principles
of physical religion are few and easy to
understand: an old medical apothegm personifies the hygienic forces as Doctor Air, Doctor Diet, Doctor Exercise, and Doctor Quiet. (JN would add Doctor Laughter to that list.)
“The return to the great
primitive elements of health — clean water,
clean air, and simple, fresh food,
with a regular system of exercise — has brought to many a jaded, weary, worn-down human being the elastic
spirits and the sound sleep of a little child.”
(JN will carry other
insightful excerpts from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s
sermon on “Bodily Religion” in a
Joyful Noiseletter, January, 2011, p. 5.
The wit and wisdom of
Harriet Beecher Stowe
It may come as a surprise to many that Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) — famed for her book Uncle
Tom’s Cabin — campaigned just as
passionately and wittily for good
health, good nutrition, and good
ventilation in churches, seminaries,
In 1866, this remarkable
contributed an article to The
Atlantic Monthly by the intriguing
title, “Bodily Religion: a Sermon on
Good Health” “The fowl air generated by one congregation,” she wrote, “is locked up by the sexton for the use of the next assembly; and so gathers and gathers from week to week, and month to month, while devout persons are ready to tear their hair because they feel stupid and sleep in church.
“Revivals of religion,
with ministers and the people who take most
interest in them, often end in periods of bodily
ill-health and depression (because) of people
breathing poison from each other’s lungs.
“The proper ventilation of their churches and vestries would remove that spiritual deadness of which their prayers and hymns complain.
“The want of suitable ventilation in schoolrooms, offices, courtrooms, churches, law schools, medical
schools, and theology schools is something simply appalling. Of itself it would answer the question why so many thousand glad, active children come to a middle life
Mrs. Stowe, her husband, Congregationalist Pastor Calvin Stowe, and her brother, Congregationalist
A Jesuit Praises Aquinas on Humor and Joy
Father John F. Kavanaugh S.J. in America, Feb. 21, 2011, p. 9 has some significant things to say in his article “Aquinas, Go With Me.” He quotes 17 of Aquinas’ statements, which have helped Kavanaugh in his work in ethics. Consider #14: “It is against reason to be burdensome to others, showing no amusement and acting as a grouch. Those without a sense of fun, who never say anything ridiculous and are cantankerous with those who do, these are vicious and are called grumpy and rude (Summa Theologica 2a-2ae clxviii, 4).” Of course, #8 is the basis: “Love is absolutely stronger than hate.” His translations are from Thomas Gilby’s Saint Thomas Aquinas: Philosophical Texts.
Note that in the past, Jesuits and Dominicans have fought each other. Isn’t it significant that they agree on the joy and love we need as Christians?
This item was taken from our website, with
approval, and used in the July-August 2011 Joyful
Newsletter, p. 1.
This item was taken from our website, with approval, and used in the July-August 2011 Joyful Newsletter, p. 1.
1. National Geographic has sent expeditions of medical scientists to four areas of the world; they wrote a book about the extraordinary longevity of people in these four areas. Good humor good nutrition, daily exercise (including siestas) and faith are all described in their book. The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the Longest-lived People.