A Lament on the Shrinking of Summer

Community in Mission | 8/31/2017 | Msgr. Charles Pope
PaMe (Posted by) Level 3
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It’s the end of August; not so long ago this was still a lazy time to enjoy the last few days of summer. It used to be that Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer — not so any more.

The erosion of summer is driven mainly by the start of school. I have watched with sadness as the school year seems to begin earlier and earlier and earlier. In the Washington, D.C. area, some schools have been open for more than a week already. College classes start even earlier, early August in some cases; and new students who need an “orientation” generally arrive on campus even before the general student population.

Rush - People - Hurry - Grind - Families

What’s the big rush? Why are some people in such a big hurry to get back to the grind? Families have so little time to spend time together as it is! I hope that the concerns I express today will be seen as having spiritual components and not just as the complaints of an old curmudgeon.

The purpose of rest, both the Sabbath rest and vacation, is to enjoy the fruit of our labors. We should work to live; many today live to work. What is the point of having a livelihood if we never get the time to enjoy life? God commanded the Sabbath for many reasons, but among them was justice. He set forth a particular day of the week (Saturday) as well as other times (feasts) when work was forbidden so that all could rest. Without the collective agreement and commandment (under pain of sin), the rich get time off but the poor must still work to facilitate the leisure of the rich. God set forth a system that sought to prevent that injustice. All, including slaves and even beasts of burden, were to refrain from all...
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