Monday, July 23, 2012

A Very Von Trapp Sunday

I'm not sure that many people know how seriously Catholic the Trapp family was.
And yes, I am taking about THE Trapp family that we all know and love from the Sound of Music!

My mom has been a hardcore "Maria" fan since I was a little girl. She had this book, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, that served as inspiration for our radical, Catholic lifestyle growing up. You mean other people don't hang a 4ft. in diameter Advent wreath from their living room ceiling, pray at cemeteries on the Feast of all Souls, make a 7 church pilgrimage on Holy Thursday, or celebrate Carnival Time?!??! These are just a FEW of the things my family did when I was living at home. The liturgical year is not meant to just be celebrated at Church on Sundays and Holy Days, but is very much intended to be lived out in the body of Christ - in the hearts and homes of the faithful!

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” - Exodus 20:8

Nathan and I have been hashing out what this means for our family since we got married. We were both raised with similar ideas of how Sundays should be spent, but we have gone back and forth about the details. We both feel a calling to something deeper, a way of life that we can almost put our fingers on... and I think this will sum up what has been weighing on our hearts.

Obviously Sacred Scripture has something to say about the Sabbath. It is only listed in the ten commandments that are accepted by Christians around the globe. Wow heads up! God must seriously want us to pay attention!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraphs 2172 & 2173:

“God's action is a model for human action. If God 'rested and was refreshed' on the seventh day, man too ought to 'rest' and should let others, especially the poor, 'be refreshed.' The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money. The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: 'The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.' With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. The sabbath is the day of the Lord or mercies and a day to honor God. 'The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.'”

Sunday, the day we remember Christ's resurrection and triumph over sin and death, is the fulfillment of the Old Testament's Sabbath. So how are we, as modern Christian-Catholics, to live out the Sunday feast?!
Get excited. We are called to an epic experience!

The Church expounds on Scripture's commandment concerning the sabbath in Exodus 20 for us in CCC paragraph 2187:

“Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure.”

Two words jump out at me when reading this passage: “unnecessary demands.” Now, our family has definitely slipped up with this teaching and has certainly made unnecessary demands on people on the Lord's day. This teaching has recently refueled our passion and desire to honor God and His commands for us... because they are intended for our good, right?!?!

In reading Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, my heart was so moved by the Old World Catholic way of celebrating Sunday. She describes a typical Saturday evening/Sunday in her book so beautifully. I want to jump into the pages, sail through time, and go enjoy the day of rest with Maria!!! Let me sum it up for you...

Maria said that when the Church bells tolled at 5 o'clock on Saturday evening the preparations for Sunday would begin. People came in from working and playing to clean-up, iron “Sunday” finery, prepare food and desserts for the following day, tidy the house, go to confession, etc. Dinner on Saturday night was relaxed and leisurely. The family would unwind from the work week enjoying the company of each other and friends. Sunday was a hearty breakfast, mass, a relaxed walk home from Church, time to visit family, friends, and those who were sick or needy. The evening meal was followed by rosary and recreation. It was TRULY a day of rest - a day spent with the Lord. Public services were only to be sought out if absolutely necessary.

I will admit that I have thought running to the doughnut shop after Mass on Sunday was necessary for MY rest... but now I realize that I am NOT enabling others to rest and am encouraging a culture of NO SUNDAYS. Take a look at communism and how they treated Sundays. It is time to be anti-cultural, ladies and gentleman!

Maria writes: “And I came to understand that the Christian Sunday is threatened more and more both from without and from within from without through the systematic efforts of the enemies of Christianity, and from within through the mediocrity and superficiality of the Christians themselves who are making of Sunday merely a day of rest, relaxing from work only by seeking entertainment. There was once a time, the Old Testament tells us, when people had become so lazy that they shunned any kind of spiritual effort and no longer attended public worship, so that God threatened them through the mouth of the prophet Osee: 'I shall chase all her joy to cease, her feast days and her Sabbath, and all her solemn feasts.'”(201).

I feel inspired more than ever to TAKE BACK SUNDAY! To return to the old way - the way of honoring God's day in the way that HE intended for it to be celebrated: rest for myself and everyone around me! I hope you are inspired too!

Pope Pius XII stated in a September 1947 address on Catholic Action: “Sunday must become again the day of the Lord, the day of adoration, of prayer and rest, or recollection and of reflection, or happy reunion in the intimate circle of the family.”

So we spent our past Sunday going to mass,
visiting with people at Church,
enjoying a yummy lunch together, family naptime,
swimming in our condo pool,
sharing a bowl of “rice”-cream,
and praying together.
Judah also learned how to rock in his rocking chair
and Zay shot some hoops!
God has good things in store for us...
and I feel like enjoying “very Von Trapp Sundays”
in our home is getting a taste of that goodness!

Come on over! I suppose you could say we are celebrating “very Vail Sundays” in our home!

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