Sunday, September 12, 2010

Honoring the Sabbath

This morning Paul says to me "we shouldn't be doing anymore shopping or eating out on Sunday", and I regret to say I gave him that look, you know, the look that says "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???".

I often make trips to the grocery store, buy last minute birthday gifts, stop for lunch after Mass, or go to breakfast before, etc.............

Needless to say, the idea of not doing any of these things ever on a Sunday did not sit well with me when first mentioned. I just kept thinking about every situation that may come up, whether it be with family, friends, or if we're on vacation, etc...

I've been thinking about this all day, and I decided to do some searching online for thoughts and opinions of others who feel the way Paul does, and I have to say (painful as it is, j/k!!) that my husband is right. I know it will not be an easy change, but the more I think on it I believe that God truly wants for us to live this way.

This is one comment I read that really stood out for me:

"Sanctifying Sunday and holy days requires a common effort," "Christians should see recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays." Even without such legal recognition, however, "Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day."


  1. Molly,

    You wrote, "I have to say . . . that my husband is right." I get the impression from following your blogs that your husband is ALWAYS right. Isn't that true?

  2. I think the operative word here is 'unnecessary demands'. If a place of business is open, the employees scheduled to work there (especially if it is a retail store or restaurant), should be able, if they wish to do so, observe Sunday and incorporate Mass and any other activities into the day. Am I creating an unnecessary demand on a person if they happen to be working on Sunday and I patronize the store or restaurant where they work? But they will be there anyway, regardless of whether or not I am there. I'll just be at home working to make the meals instead--isn't that unnecessary servile work for me?

  3. This is from Father John Hardon, THE Father John Hardon, author of the famous Catechism:

    "Implicit in the Church's prohibition of servile work on Sundays is fidelity to the divine commandment to keep holy the Sabbath. This means avoiding activities that would hinder renewal of soul and body, i.e., needless work or business, unnecessary shopping or housekeeping."

    The issue here isn't the employees--it's the responsibility of the individual Catholic, who, by patronizing the store, gives the message that's it's permissible to be open on Sundays. Whether that message has any effect is irrelevant--it is still the responsibility of the individual Catholic not to send that message.

    And whether making the meals constitutes "unnecessary work" or your responsibility is between you and your family.

  4. but then can you engage in any recreational activities on Sunday that require employees? Amusement parks, plays and concerts, museums, libraries, golf courses?

  5. I was going to comment when this item was posted ... but it was a Sunday!

    The realities of life are that businesses open on Sundays and the tradition to observe the Sunday was further weakened when the Catholic Church allowed attendance at Mass on Saturday evening to count as the obligation for Sunday. So businesses took advantage of this and asked their employees to work on Sunday and go to church Saturday.

    Be that as it may ... your husband is right in not undertaking any unnecessary shopping on Sunday if you can possibly avoid it. However, I see nothing wrong with going to a restaurant, the cinema or a concert or such like activity aimed at providing a "day of rest".

    God bless.

  6. Anonymous,

    To answer your question:

    "but then can you engage in any recreational activities on Sunday that require employees? Amusement parks, plays and concerts, museums, libraries, golf courses?"

    Given that there are a million recreational activities that do not require these establishments that are open on Sunday, and given that any of the above mentioned activities can be done on Saturday, it's best not to engage in those activities that open for business on Sundays, because doing so encourages the establishment to keep their business open on Sunday.


Please keep it clean!!

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