September 4, 2009

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day every week

Shirley Vogler MeisterLong ago, when I first began writing “Faithful Lines” for The Criterion, I also began considering a column about one of the Ten Comandments: Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

I set my notes aside several times through the years. Recently, they again surfaced, and I recalled my youth when Sundays were so different than in current times.

Sunday was special. Besides Mass, there was time for leisurely visits with others—and what we did was usually

low-key and enjoyable. Yet, once again, I set aside my column idea.

Then, in August, I read my copy of the Christ the King Parish newsletter, The King’s Crier. I was delighted to find an article written by parishioners Janet and Eric Engleman. The headline—“Observe the Sabbath, respect the Earth”—caught my interest. With permission of the authors, I share most of it here:

“How can the Sabbath day of rest contribute to taking care of our planet? Think about how once upon a time stores, restaurants and many public places were closed on Sundays.

“We would gather with our family and friends, and have good, home-cooked meals, play board and card games, and talk. Our day of rest did not involve driving to multiple stores to run errands, turning on the computers to finish our work from the week before or playing endless video games.

“According to Nancy Sleeth, author of Go Green, Save Green, ‘a return to these earlier customs of avoiding driving on Sundays [except to go to church], not shopping and eating at home could decrease pollution by 10 to 14 percent. Maybe we can’t make this commitment every Sunday, but we could try to sit down as a family and make a plan to honor the Sabbath by slowing down for one day to honor God, family and ourselves. You may enjoy being out in nature walking, hiking or picnicking.’ ”

The Englemans suggest enjoying nature, light gardening while praying and meditating, attending eucharistic adoration, reading something faith-related instead of watching TV or sharing a movie with family members that has spiritual meaning for everyone.

They also noted, “According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ‘God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, “be refreshed.” The Sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite …’ (#2172). Consider what you and your family can do to honor the Sabbath.”

If I hadn’t read the Englemans’ article, I might have never shared this subject.

Isn’t it time to slow down on Sundays and enjoy the difference this could make in our lives and our environment?

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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