Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Keeping the Sabbath

Sundays.  Too often last year they were spent working – on our  home, on contract jobs, on stuff besides what we should have been focusing on: the Sabbath!   

I mean, sure, we went to Mass each Sunday, but after church, to-do’s and catch-up were just as likely to be the order of the day rather than simply relaxing, reflecting and being present with God and one another.  Luckily, we recognized our folly and have chosen to change.  We have decided that given the stress and hectic pace which everyday life can hold for folks in our modern world, as well as the clear Biblical edict that has been handed down since “ancient” times (Deuteronomy 12:5-14), keeping the Sabbath is a vital choice we need to embrace.  If we hope to train our children up with happy hearts, we need to train ourselves to abide by and enjoy the gift of the Sabbath.

So, how have we been unwrapping that gift?  With increasing joy.  Praying.  Hiking.  Going skating.  Sledding.  Resting.  Playing together.  Taking time to savor “adequate rest and leisure to cultivate (our) familial, cultural, social and religious lives.” (CCC 2184)   

Now, we know the Sabbath means different things to different folks.  How it’s done, even what day it is done, varies.  For us, the commitment is simple:

  • Go to Mass. (CCC 2192)

  • Take time for personal rest and for those that we love.   (CCC 2194)

  • Avoid shopping for non-essentials and doing unnecessary work. (CCC 2187)

  • Concentrate on need and charity if we do labor. (CCC 2185)

In other words, seek to honor the fact that “human life has a rhythm of work and rest.”  (CCC 2184) by making time for the latter instead of consistently getting caught up in the former.

Yes, setting aside a Sabbath sure is working for us.  How about you?  

How are you maintaining a rhythm of work and rest?  In what ways are you training yourself and your children up to savor relaxation and to nurture relationships with God, self and others?   

Do share in a comment.  And, also be sure to stop by Works for Me Wednesday, where this post is being shared, to check out what has been working for other folks at home, at work and in life.


Kayla said...

ohhh how cute!!

The Elliott's said...

I love this post! Our family has been keeping the sabbath for a couple of years now, and it is such a blessing. We usually spend time reading the Word, resting, and spending time as a family. We try not to do any house work(I make sure everything is clean and meals are cooked the day before). Thanks for this encouraging post!



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