Introduction to the Devout Life

31. Pastimes and recreations. To get out into the open air, be entertained by happy, friendly conversation, play the lute or some other musical instrument, sing to a musical accompaniment, and go hunting are all such innocent forms of recreation that to use them properly all that is needed is the common prudence that gives due order, time, place, and measure to all things.

Games in which gain serves as recompense for skill and bodily or mental activity, such as tennis, pall-mall, charging the ring, chess, and backgammon, are by nature good and licit forms of recreation. We need only to provide against going to extremes as to the time spent on them or the amount played for.