Sleep Saintly!


I was just listening to a homily at the link below:

Something the priest talks about are the things investigated in a case for beautification or canonization. There are the miracles of course, but then there is a list of questions about the person’s life corresponding to cardinal and theological virtues. Something that peaked my interest:

Did he indulge in long hours of sleep? Was his bed comfortable or uncomfortable?

So I realize that sleep time and bed comfort are not exaclty laid out as commandments. **What is your perspective on this? How much sleep do you get? Is your bed comfortable?
I have a small hard matress. It might not be comfortable to others who prefer soft matresses but it is just right for me. It is not much of a sacrifice as it is very comfortable to me.

How much sleep should we be getting before it becomes indulging? I usually get 6-7 hours on week nights, but tend to sleep A LOT on Saturday. I don’t have any, but it seems like parents with small children are all well on their way to being saints!

I’m not going for cannonization, but I do wonder if our sleep habits are harmful spiritually and we don’t know it.


Perhaps it has something to do with sloth… I need a fair amount of sleep, and if I don’t get it, I tend to get migraines.

If my bed is uncomfortable, regular headaches (which can turn to migraines) come my way.

I do know that physical mortifications are helpful on one’s spiritual journey, but there’s a reason why they say to run such things past one’s spiritual director. Not all saints (or priests / religious) lead physically austere lives. So while it probably can help us spiritually to deprive ourselves, I’m not sure if I think we are harmed by not doing so.


I guess I don’t understand this type of mortification (although I guess I understand why someone would use a hard mattress for penance). Sleep deprivation is dangerous to one’s physical and mental health, and can be a danger to other people if one is going to drive or operate machinery or even try to perform one’s job. People who are sleep deprived can exhibit poor judgment and cognitive function. I don’t see how that can bring someone closer to God, but then I’m not a saint. I think if you’re living in the real world, you need to sleep.


That was an awesome sermon! Thank you for posting it.

I don’t quiet get the bed thing, either, though.:shrug:


My dear friend
I think peole look for signs of sanctity in ways like this but of itself your sleeping habits don’t determine if your a saint or not. Wat if your bed ridden and sick and sleep a lot and need a comfortable bed for health reasons? I think the state of ones soul determines sanctity and it’s not so simple to see sanctity because we can’t see the soul and people therefore look for these external signs. This is probably why the church insists on miracles in the canonisation process - because we don’t know the state of a soul but God does.:slight_smile:


My dear friends

I thought I would add more here. There is a nice practise of imagining yourself in Gods hand when your in bed. You can imagine your feet are in His fingers, Your body in the centre and your head is resting in His palm. I like to do this and because of this I like a comfortable bed. I try to turn my sleep into prayer by doing it for God and out of a motive of love of God. It may not be penance but it’s prayer. Penance is very good but it can take many forms. A person may not do much penance but on the other had may not have a great need to do penance. Or a person may do little penance but have great trials like sickness and suffering to deal with. If we don’t do much penance we should be grateful for all the crosses great or small God sends our way to help us be purified. We should try to complain as little as possible.Penance or sacrifices are great and an essential part of every christians life but they can take many forms. And as said in themselves they do not make you a saint, but they do purify your soul and fill it with grace, and this is what makes you a saint. God bless all:)


Thank you for posting this, it is a very beautiful way to think of sleep. I think it would take me a while to believe that my sleep was out of a motive of love of God. Seems like usually my body and mind just shut off without a particular motivation other than maybe making sure I am not a zombie at work.


Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the questionnaire he is reading online?


This is the only thing I could find online. I don’t think it is in the same order and its in chunky paragraph form. Still it is divided up by virtue. There might be a better list somewhere.

hmm, says at the top continued from October…

The questions start at the bottom of October’s article and continue through November’s.


My dear friend

Is it Gods wil that we sleep. Can we not do this for him too? Did Jesus sleep like us? Yes, He did. All humans sleep and there’s nothing to stop this becoming prayer as the great St Paul recommended I believe. Fom the ctholic dictionary-

PRAYER, CONSTANT. The Christian practice, advocated by St. Paul, “Pray constantly” (I Thessalonians 5:17), by which a person always remains united with God. Also called the prayer of the heart, it need not be conscious awareness of God’s presence. It implies that a person is constantly ready to do the will of God.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:


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