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Sometimes lately I have to look at the events scribbled in my calendar to remind myself of the date and what day of the week it is! I guess I could say that’s because of my advancing age, but I think it has as much or more to do with the pace of life now. Today is Sunday – for Christians, the Sabbath Day, set aside for rest and reflection on the spiritual side of life. I’ve been known to hear in my head the dictum “No unnecessary servile work on Sunday!” if I set about doing laundry or some other household duty. I was always grateful for that precept of the laws of the Church that guided our family life in that simpler time that was my youth.
Sunday really was a quieter day then, a time to go to church, to visit, have Sunday dinner and then sometimes to squeeze all of us (5 kids and two fathers in the early days) into Uncle Charlie’s station wagon and go for ice cream after feeding the ducks at Norumbega. I didn’t know that the dual purpose of those trips with our fathers gave the mothers – sometimes home with a baby or two – a bit of a respite and some quiet too.
For most of us, times have changed radically as the pace of life picked up and three-shift jobs became the norm. It’s more difficult now to allow ourselves a day of the week that is set apart from the others. Perhaps a more novel idea would be to train our hearts to a mindset of every day being a Sabbath – a sacred day of reflection. It wouldn’t need to mean staying home from work or ignoring necessary tasks at home. Maybe setting our inner clock to an hourly “stop!” to remember and give thanks to God would be enough to make each day as holy as the last and as anticipated as the next while staying ever present in the now.