Motives for the Sanctification of Sunday
1. God rewards with temporal blessings those who keep holy His day.
Consider the loving kindness of God; it is no toilsome service He requires of you, but that you should rest. There are one hundred and sixty-eight hours in the week. God only demands one day (twenty-four hours) for Himself; must you use this for your worldly affairs? Those who would prosper in their business must consecrate Sunday to the service of God. Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America, when on his voyage always kept his vessels stationary on Sunday. God often protects in a special manner those who keep holy His day. One of the sailors on board a steamer on the Mississippi refused to shift the cargo an unnecessary work on Sunday; he was dismissed in consequence. Shortly after the boiler burst and several of the crew lost their lives; thus the God-fearing sailor escaped. God often increases the gains of those who abstain from the pursuit of their calling on Sundays. A pious friend once persuaded an artisan to desist from working on Sunday, saying he would compensate for the loss thus occasioned. In six months time he returned, and the artisan acknowledged that far from losing, he had made more money than usual in the interval. Holy Scripture says “God blessed the seventh day” (Gen. ii. 3), that is to say, He made it productive of blessing for us It is a false argument to allege that the suspension of work on Sunday is prejudicial to the produce of manufactures, for it is an ascertained fact that factory hands do more and better work if they have one day of rest in the seven. A bow never un spanned loses its elasticity; so the workman loses his powers if they are ever on the stretch. Rousseau, no friend to religion, used to say that holidays were essential to the welfare of a nation. In England the observance of Sunday is a strict rule, and see how her commerce has prospered. Some Jews still rigorously keep the Sabbath, and no disadvantages ensue to them.
2. The profanation of the Lord’s Day is frequently punished with temporal evils, sickness and poverty.
Because the Jews habitually violated the sanctity of the Sabbath God permitted Nabuchodonosor to destroy Jerusalem and take the people into captivity (2 Esd. xiii. 18). The usual punishment for profaning Sunday and not hearing Mass is to become the captive of vice. Those who work continuously ruin their health; man can no more live without taking repose than without eating. Thus the day of rest is not only a religious duty, but a natural necessity. To those who work on Sundays God says as to the Jews of yore: “I will quickly visit you with poverty” (Lev. xxvi. 16). Those who through greed of gain desecrate Sunday, obtain the very opposite of their aim. The Chinese have no fixed day of rest, and to what a deplorable state of degradation and misery, both physically and morally, they have sunk as a nation!
3. The non-observance of Sunday undermines family life and social relations.
This sin causes the disintegration of the family. If the members of a family neglect public worship, they lose all sense of their duties and fall into evil ways. The father becomes dissolute, the mother indifferent, the children insubordinate. The father does not fulfil his duty to his children; occupied all the week he sees but little of them; on Sunday he has leisure to observe their individual characters, and give them useful instruction. The disintegration of society follows that of the family; the profanation of Sunday is an open violation of God’s law; the yoke of the secular law is next thrown off; no respect is shown to the authority of the king, the bishop, the legislator, the parent. Catholics who are careless in regard to the holy-days of obligation, gradually lose all sense of their religious duties; they forget God, their final end, and become like heathen. Those who are not found on Sunday among the children of God on earth, will be excluded from His presence to all eternity. By sanctifying Sunday, we lay up for ourselves treasures which will last forever.
This article, Motives for the Sanctification of Sunday is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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