Keep the Sabbath!
In pursuit of the truth – www.cinopsbegoneblogspot.com – Sunday, February 26, 2012
Here is a meditation appropriate for the first Sunday of Lent. It is from Pope Benedict XVI’s earlier work 1992, Ignatius Press- Co-Workers of the Truth – Meditations for Every Day of the Year:
In the account of creation, the Sabbath is described as the day on which, in the freedom of worship, mankind shares God’s freedom. God’s rest, and so God’s peace. To keep the Sabbath means to keep the covenant. It means going back to the beginning, removing all impurities our work has introduced into the world.
I also means leading the way to a new world – to a world in which there will no longer be slaves and masters, but only the free children of God; to a world in which men and animals will share like brothers and sisters in the peace of God and in his freedom.
By their No to the rhythm of freedom and leisure ordained for them by God, human beings have distanced themselves from their likeness to God and have trampled on the world. Therefore they had to be snatched away from their obstinate attachments to their own work; therefore God had to bring them back to their proper place by releasing them from the dominion of technology. “Operi Dei nihil praeponature” – worship first, then freedom and the rest ordained by God. Thus and only thus can we men live.
Creation is ordered to the Sabbath, which is the sign of the covenant between God and the human race. Creation is so structured that it terminates in a time of worship. Creation was made so that there would be a place for worship. It fulfills its purpose, it is in order, when it is constantly reoriented toward worship. Creation exists for the sake of worship: Operi Dei nihil praeponature, Saint Benedict says in his Rule: “Nothing is to take precedence over the service of God.”
This is not an expression of exalted piety, but a pure and practical application to our own lives of the story of creation and its message. The genuine center, the force that moves and order from within the rhythm of the stars and of our lives, is worship. Ultimately all peoples have come to know this: the creation stories of every culture affirm that the world exists for cult, for the glorification of God…