Volume > Issue > Flesh Is Best

Flesh Is Best


By Jeffrey Wald | September 2023
Jeffrey Wald writes from the Twin Cities. His stories, articles, and book reviews can be found in periodicals such as Dappled Things, Touchstone, Genealogies of Modernity, Front Porch Republic, and The University Bookman.

“Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best.” — Gerard Manley Hopkins


Bear with me as I tease out a thesis.

A few years back, I was sitting next to my buddy in his Toyota Tundra, chatting about the pastoral care of young people. We both led small groups composed of young married couples from our parish. My buddy lamented that many of the men — married, most with young children — spent hours a day playing video games. Video games, for crying out loud! I admit, I’m biased. I’ve never had a gaming system. I played a few computer games growing up — Sim Ant, Lemmings, some game out of a Chex cereal box — but video games were never my thing.

In college, I couldn’t understand how dudes could spend untold hours a day gaming. In fact, when I was a resident assistant in the dorms, one of the dudes on my floor got kicked out of school because of failing grades. He didn’t tell his parents. Instead, he continued to live in the dorms for several months though he was no longer enrolled. Doing what? Fear not. He was not selling drugs or corrupting coeds. He was playing video games. For hours and hours and hours on end.

Exasperated, I told my buddy in his Tundra, “I’d rather my sons” — I had three little ones at the time, but that number has since more than doubled — “were out causing trouble, getting drunk, trying to get laid, than sitting at home in the basement, addicted to video games.” Call it my Catholic sacramental view of the world. I figured that if my kids were at least participating in the physical world — getting scraped and bruised and bloody — then they were in the game. If they had a zest and desire for the real world, for physicality, for flesh, for joy and pleasure and the stuff of life, then they were well on their way to being converted to Christ.

Enjoyed reading this?



You May Also Enjoy

Who Can Judge the Quality of a Life?

I thank the heavenly Father every day for sending such a priceless treasure as our daughter. He could have given her to any parents, but He blessed us.

Is Francis’s Revised Teaching on the Death Penalty a Development of Doctrine?

The Culture of Life may be advanced by the Holy Father’s innovation, but he has forged an unsettling theological path to take us there.

The Sanctity of Life & the Right to Adequate Health Care

Infant mortality, life expectancy, and disability rates confirm that the poor and uninsured permanently suffer the consequences of our broken healthcare system.