A lot of people think that America sins against the Sixth Commandment more than any other. And we certainly sin against the Fifth Commandment a lot–4,000 abortions per day.
But the real problem with our culture is that we do not keep the Third Commandment. If we kept the sabbath, we could keep the other commandments. Without the sabbath, we turn into violent, self-indulgent beasts.
Back on May 1, I promised to summarize for you a book which addresses this problem. (The original promise actually goes the whole way back to April 3. Forgive me for procrastinating my way through the entire Easter season.)
Fortunately for me, a greater blogger than myself has masterfully reviewed In Tune with the World by Josef Pieper. Click through and read all about it.
We priests are strange ducks when it comes to keeping the sabbath. Sunday is kind of a work day for us.
It is customary for us to have a “day off” during the week. Nosy people sometimes ask me, ‘What do you do on your day off, Father?’
Now, of course I pray on my day off, Holy Mass, and I try to help souls. You can’t take a day off from being a priest. I like to see my family, friends, etc.
But to reveal all: My favorite thing to do on my day off is take a nice long walk. I can put as many as twenty miles on my sneakers on any given Wednesday.
Yes, this is a BORING, BORING answer. Father, what do you do on your day off? “I take walks.” Lame answer.
Pieper’s book, however, has helped me to come up with a better answer.
My real answer is: On my day of rest, I go for a walk so that I can affirm the divine Fountainhead of my existence.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “The problem is not organizing festivals. The problem is finding people who know how to enjoy themselves.”
This is what In Tune with the World is about. Joy—the joy of the sabbath, the joy of any festival—comes from embracing the world as a gift from God.
Pieper seems to have written the book to explain why the May Day holiday instituted by communists, as well as other ersatz holidays, are not real festivals.
Man cannot invent festivals out of whole cloth. The occasion for joy comes from God. To keep a holy day is to say Amen to everything God has done.
2 thoughts on “Useless”
“Without the sabbath, we turn into violent, self-indulgent beasts.”
There are many people who not only keep the sabbath, but also claim to live a christian lifestyle who are violent, self-indulgent beasts.
There is no validity to this argument. Being a good person and living a good life have nothing to do with keeping the sabbath.
It’s true that man can’t invent festivals. That’s why made-up religions like Kwaanza never work…and why they always end up being rip offs of Christianity anyway!