Forgotten In The Rush Of Modern Life: That The Sabbath Is To Be Kept Holy
By Michael H. Brown
We have virtually forgotten one of the major sins: working on Sunday. This is especially true in retailing. Look around. Nowadays there isn't any shopping that you can't do (save in some states for wine and hard liquor). You can shop for clothes and cars and hardware. For groceries. For a home. Many think nothing of it -- and indeed many are now forced to work on that day.
We realize there are exceptions. There are people who have to work on Sunday: police, firemen, and other essential workers, plus those who have no choice. They are not held into account. Our society has reached a point where many are forced into such labor. Just this week it was reported that a suburban Detroit meat cutter had to sue his former employer after he was fired for not working Sundays.
But it is a sin if we can help it -- if we treat Sunday like any other day, without at least some serious observance -- and for this we need go no further than the Ten Commandments. Open up to Exodus 20:9: "Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days the Lord made the Heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
There is more, and the most stark warning comes from the Church-approved apparition of LaSalette. There on September 19, 1846, in the French Alps the Blessed Mother warned about working on Sunday. "For a long time I have suffered for you," she said. "If I do not want my Son to abandon you, I am forced to pray to Him myself without ceasing. You pay no heed. However much you would do, you could never recompense the pain I have taken for you. I have given you six days for work; I have reserved the seventh day for myself and no one will grant it to me."
As a result, said the Blessed Mother (speaking of course for the Lord), "if the harvest is spoiled, it is your fault" -- and indeed the warning was almost immediately followed by the great potato famine in France and Ireland.
To God, working on Sunday is a serious matter. A German cardinal warned of it last summer. Obviously, there are exceptions. There are times we have to work. There are duties we can't ignore. And we are allowed to do incidental work -- smaller things, things around the house, things we don't normally do. But for the most part we're supposed to rest, pray, and meditate. Read the Bible. Read spiritual books. Spend time with our families. You'll find special graces if you do. It's a day during which Heaven opens a bit more than usual. There is the potential for greater communication with the Lord. He hears especially on the Sabbath: one day a week that must be dedicated to Him if we aspire to any degree of holiness.
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