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Glorifying God in our bodies not just an Olympic dream

LONDON (Agencies): In the run up to the Olympic Games scheduled to be held in London, England, from July 27 to August 12, the bishops of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales were calling on people to aim for a more balanced and environmentally sensitive lifestyle.

Over 400,000 leaflets have been distributed to parishes in England and Wales inviting people to celebrate the incredible wonder and dignity of their bodies and, citing St. Paul, “to use your body for the glory of God.”

This year’s Day for Life highlights the importance of good health, the care of the body and the importance of exercise and sporting activities. The event will be celebrated in parishes in England and Wales on July 29, Zenit reports.

The event is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Great Britain. Proceeds collected from that day go to the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church in Great Britain.

Archbishop Peter Smith, from Southwark, the head of the Day for Life in England and Wales, commented on the significance of the Olympic Games and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“In the next few weeks we are going to see Olympians and Paralympians do the most amazing things. It will be incredible to watch world records being broken; gold medals being won and after years of dedicated training, personal sacrifice and daily discipline, the body performing feats that humanly we would think impossible,” he said.

“This year’s Day for Life reminds us all of the importance of taking care of our bodies at every stage and in every condition—it is a call to use our bodies for the glory of God.”

The message released for this year’s events focusses on the importance of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to help to celebrate the human body “in all its wonder, especially when it faces the challenge of disability, physical limitation and pain.”

The message says, “They testify that to achieve success in sport requires a harmony between the body, the spirit and the mind brought about through training and discipline.”

The initiative follows the call by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 encouraging Christians to take part in sporting activities as “a training ground of healthy competition and physical improvement, a school of formation in the human and spiritual values, a privileged means for personal growth and contact with society.”

Echoing the call from the pope, Paralympic medallist and professional athlete for Great Britain, Stef Reid, said in a prerecorded video message, “Our bodies matter and they are good. That’s why it is so important that we don’t neglect them.”

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