No surprise. No surprise at all.
Yet another vestige of Christianity was swept away. Probably a small thing compared to all the other degradations amongst us. With an enlightened air of relief the Atlanta paper reported:
Georgia’s age-old, all-out ban on buying beer, wine and liquor at shops on Sunday has met its end. Early poll results had voters in most of the 51 metro Atlanta jurisdictions giving a resounding yes Tuesday to seven days of package sales in referendums, continuing the slow dissolution of a blue law dating to the late 1800s, one of the last restraints on Sunday consumption.
We have a culture that embraces killing unborn children, and calls it choice; promotes sodomitic couplings, and calls it marriage; and, venerates Mohammed (may pig excrement be upon him), and calls it tolerance. So it’s no surprise that there is no hesitation to make the disregard of another of God’s Laws official, and call it liberty.
But then again, all that’s from the Old Testament – or, as they call it in modern American churches – the two-thirds of Holy Scripture where God was just kidding. Considering some of those hilarious vignettes from the Divine Comedy, it kinda makes you wonder what the Creator of the Universe has to do to be taken seriously around here:
And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Jehovah commanded Moses. Numbers 15: 32-36
More recently – and in response to the loss of reverence for the Lord’s Day, Blessed John Paul II wrote Dies Domini, teaching, in part (and it’s killing me to quote so little of this rich Encyclical):
The Lord’s Day — as Sunday was called from Apostolic times — has always been accorded special attention in the history of the Church because of its close connection with the very core of the Christian mystery. In fact, in the weekly reckoning of time Sunday recalls the day of Christ’s Resurrection. It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death, the fulfilment in him of the first creation and the dawn of “the new creation” (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world’s first day and looks forward in active hope to “the last day”, when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5).
The Resurrection of Jesus is the fundamental event upon which Christian faith rests (cf. 1 Cor 15:14). It is an astonishing reality, fully grasped in the light of faith, yet historically attested to by those who were privileged to see the Risen Lord. It is a wondrous event which is not only absolutely unique in human history, but which lies at the very heart of the mystery of time. In fact, “all time belongs to [Christ] and all the ages”, as the evocative liturgy of the Easter Vigil recalls in preparing the Paschal Candle. Therefore, in commemorating the day of Christ’s Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world’s origin and its final destiny leads.
It is right, therefore, to claim, in the words of a fourth century homily, that “the Lord’s Day” is “the lord of days”.(2) Those who have received the grace of faith in the Risen Lord cannot fail to grasp the significance of this day of the week with the same deep emotion which led Saint Jerome to say: “Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, it is the day of Christians, it is our day”. For Christians, Sunday is “the fundamental feast day”, established not only to mark the succession of time but to reveal time’s deeper meaning.
The fundamental importance of Sunday has been recognized through two thousand years of history and was emphatically restated by the Second Vatican Council: “Every seven days, the Church celebrates the Easter mystery. This is a tradition going back to the Apostles, taking its origin from the actual day of Christ’s Resurrection — a day thus appropriately designated ‘the Lord’s Day’.” Paul VI emphasized this importance once more when he approved the new General Roman Calendar and the Universal Norms which regulate the ordering of the Liturgical Year. The coming of the Third Millennium, which calls believers to reflect upon the course of history in the light of Christ, also invites them to rediscover with new intensity the meaning of Sunday: its “mystery”, its celebration, its significance for Christian and human life.
I note with pleasure that in the years since the Council this important theme has prompted not only many interventions by you, dear Brother Bishops, as teachers of the faith, but also different pastoral strategies which — with the support of your clergy — you have developed either individually or jointly. On the threshold of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, it has been my wish to offer you this Apostolic Letter in order to support your pastoral efforts in this vital area. But at the same time I wish to turn to all of you, Christ’s faithful, as though I were spiritually present in all the communities in which you gather with your Pastors each Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and “the Lord’s Day”. Many of the insights and intuitions which prompt this Apostolic Letter have grown from my episcopal service in Krakow and, since the time when I assumed the ministry of Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter, in the visits to the Roman parishes which I have made regularly on the Sundays of the different seasons of the Liturgical Year. I see this Letter as continuing the lively exchange which I am always happy to have with the faithful, as I reflect with you on the meaning of Sunday and underline the reasons for living Sunday as truly “the Lord’s Day”, also in the changing circumstances of our own times.
Until quite recently, it was easier in traditionally Christian countries to keep Sunday holy because it was an almost universal practice and because, even in the organization of civil society, Sunday rest was considered a fixed part of the work schedule. Today, however, even in those countries which give legal sanction to the festive character of Sunday, changes in socioeconomic conditions have often led to profound modifications of social behaviour and hence of the character of Sunday. The custom of the “weekend” has become more widespread, a weekly period of respite, spent perhaps far from home and often involving participation in cultural, political or sporting activities which are usually held on free days. This social and cultural phenomenon is by no means without its positive aspects if, while respecting true values, it can contribute to people’s development and to the advancement of the life of society as a whole. All of this responds not only to the need for rest, but also to the need for celebration which is inherent in our humanity. Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a “weekend”, it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see “the heavens”. Hence, though ready to celebrate, they are really incapable of doing so. (emphasis added).
So the majority are “celebrating” their victory this day. And in doing so, we slip that much further lose sight of time’s deeper meaning. Further devolving Sunday into really just an extension of Saturday, which we all know is the crown jewel of Friday, is nothing more than an empty promise.
Though they may be ready to celebrate, they are really incapable of doing so.
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