A breather, a Sabbath moment...

Sunday is the Sabbath in my weekly experience but it's far from being a day of rest.  The same is likely true for many of my readers.  Sunday is often a busy day for those who work, minister, help out and volunteer in the life of the local parish. 

Today's Memorial Day and after Mass in our cemetery at 10:00 a.m. and then offering a prayer at a town Memorial Day program, I took a deep breath and began enjoying a day off from my usual round of appointments and meetings.

In taking that deep breath I thought, "This is what the Sabbath is meant to be - a breather..."  Sabbath is for breath-catching and for catching up on time for rest and time with the Lord and time to enjoy the God-given world around us.

Of course, it's not only those who work for the church who might be unfamiliar with Sabbath rest.  The demands of family life in the households of my parish make Sundays less than a breather for many folks.  But we all need Sabbath rest.  Vacations and school breaks are great but they can't offer what the Sabbath intends: a weekly break, given, actually enjoined on us as a commandment, to insure we'll slow down, stop, rest, enjoy the blessings of creation and praise God for them.

I'm old enough to remember when the prohibition of "servile work" on Sundays was strong enough to solicit negative comments about neighbors who mowed their lawns on the Lord's Day.  As odd as that might sound today, there was a respect for that Sabbath the default of which was rest!

My "weekend" falls in the middle of most folks' weekdays but as other folks do on Sundays, I bring work to my own sabbath and thus rob it of its potential for rest and grace.

Do any readers here truly keep the Sabbath?  How do you do it?  What are its fruits?

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  1. When I was very young, I remember that after Mass, we always had Sunday dinner (mid-day.) Often it was roast chicken with rice and a variety of vegetables followed by a homemade dessert (cake or pie usually.) My mother was a great cook and she liked to cook, so we were blessed with her culinary gifts. After dinner, we would go visiting. We would pile in the car (there were six of us altogether) and drive to a neighbor that we didn't see often. I think they were mostly my father's business associates with whom he was very friendly. Every weekend we would go to see a different family. Sometimes they would come to see us, but usually we would to to see them. Some of them had children, others didn't. That didn't seem to matter The four of us always found something to amuse ourselves with while the adults talked.

    When we got home, we would have a light supper, probably a sandwich and a glass of milk. Then we might watch a couple of TV programs (or before that listen to radio programs!)

    Then baths and bed!

    I'm not sure how many years this was how I spent the Sabbath, but it was quite a few.

    Times have really changed!


  2. My Sundays as a child were spent visiting relatives or having relatives visit us. My mum would cook a big meal around lunch time ... and then ... visitors or no visitors .. Sunday night was frappe night for dinner. It was nice to have a routine. It was nice to have Sunday as a day to have relaxation and something different to do. I do miss that. Sometimes it's all so very busy. We should all take time to let go of everyday life ... and take some deep breaths.


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