A priest shares his advice for making the Sabbath truly a day of rest and rejuvenation.
Do you feel tired or run down? We are all such busy people, running from one thing to the next during the week. Decades ago most stores and businesses were closed on Sundays so it was easier to rest. Christians have always held the Sabbath in high esteem — it’s one of the Ten Commandments, of course, and as the Book of Genesis tells us, God Himself rested on the seventh day. Perhaps now more than ever, God is calling us to reclaim Sunday as a day of rest, leisure, and recreation, so we can prepared for what the next week will bring.
Besides attending Mass on Sunday, which is our most important call and duty, how else can we leisurely observe the Sabbath? Here are 10 suggestions…
1. Enjoy a homemade meal
Most people like to go out to eat after Sunday Mass. Why not be different? Go home and make breakfast instead. Allow it to be a family affair in which everyone has a hand in preparing the meal.
Viewers of Blue Bloods know how each episode ends — with the family gathered at the Sunday table, bowing their head first in prayer, and sharing about their week. On the Lord’s Day, not only do we share a meal at the heavenly banquet, but we can do so in our own homes, too. In an age of distraction and disconnection, be attentive and connected to the people you love.
2. Visit a state park of historic landmark
Are there parks around your area or historical landmarks? Spend the day in a park, hiking the trails, or bird watching. Or drive around and learn about local history as you take in the various historical and geographical landmarks in your area.
3. Read a book
What’s the last book you read? Was it for school or fun? Go to the library and find a book to read for fun, or buy one for your e-reader, or visit a brick and mortar store. Sit outside on your patio furniture and become engrossed in a story.
4. Do something you enjoy
What are your favorite hobbies or past times? Do something you enjoy (that’s legal and moral, of course!). Go for a bike ride. Run a 5K. Do some wood work. Pull the weeds or plant flowers. On Sunday, take time to do whatever helps you decompress and fills you with new life and energy.
5. Visit the grave of a loved one
After going to church, consider visiting the cemetery where your family is buried. Maybe it’s right next to the church or perhaps it’s a little drive away. Pay respects to the loved ones in your life. Pray for their eternal rest, and ask them to pray for you, too!
6. Go for a drive
Have you ever been behind someone going for a Sunday drive? This is a common expression where I come from for grandma and grandpas who might be going a little slowly and taking in the view along the country roads. Another friend of mine calls it “bumming around.” Get in your car without an agenda. See where the road takes you and have some fun.
7. Visit relatives or friends
Hopefully such a recommendation won’t fill you with stress and anxiety, but when is the last time you spent time with close or extended family? Visit your grandparents, uncle, or cousins. Or call up some friends and see if they want to do something fun together in the afternoon or evening. Yard games? Board game night? Enjoy the company of others.
8. Check the community calendar
Many local newspapers or television stations have a community calendar of different activities happening in their respective area. Is there a concert in the park? A community bike ride? See what’s happening in your community and meet new friends.
9. Go for a rosary walk
Go for a stroll through your neighborhood or town and pray the rosary. Praying the rosary in this fashion will not only help you get to your step count for the day, but you’ll receive graces, too.
10. Watch a movie or take a nap
Buy a bag of popcorn or pop the kernals on the stove top. Pick up a free movie from the library or login in to your online streaming provider and get lost in movie. If you are like me, you might nod your head a few times. And if that’s the case, consider a nap, and rest up, because there’s a week ahead of you.
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