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Pope Says Relax and Don’t be a Sourpuss

The recently published book, “Pope Francis: His Life and His Own Words,” documents the interviews Pope Francis had with two Argentinian journalists while he was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. One of the journalists asked him, “Do we need to rediscover the meaning of leisure?” Pope Francis replied: “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. But this is being destroyed, in large part, by the elimination of the Sabbath rest day. More and more people work on Sundays as a consequence of the competitiveness imposed by a consumer society.” The pope concluded that in these cases, “work ends up dehumanizing people.”
It seems that in our fast-paced world we need more than ever to recover Sunday as a Sabbath day — a day of worship, leisure, rest, and family time. Two of my favorites among the memorable statements Pope Francis has made so far are that encouragement to relax more and his observation that sourpusses hurt the church’s witness and mission (Homily, May 10). I know that when I do not have enough leisure time I become a sourpuss. So as the summer begins I pledge to take more leisure time, have lots more fun, and spend more time with family and friends.
Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.

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2 Responses to “Pope Says Relax and Don’t be a Sourpuss”

  1. John Bartelloni says:

    Years ago in my home state of Virginia, the “Blue Laws” prohibited many commercial activities. These laws have been removed from the Code of Virginia.

    I agree with the necessity of taking time off from the grind. I try not to work on Sundays, but if I do, then will take the next available weekday off. Additionally, I try not to engage in routine transactions such as grocery shopping, etc. on Sundays.

    Those of us in sedentary occupations need to exercise more. I no longer run regularly, but I do have both road and trail bikes and enjoy using both.

  2. Cathi/Kathy Walsh Haehle says:

    It seems the more active any of us become, the more we need to deepen self care. Balance in all things seems to be the answer. Active ministry in the Community must balance with a deepening personal relationship within the Trinity. Active occupations need to balance with Reflective time to discern the meaning of the occupation and root activities in meaning. Handling the bombardments of sprouts of political chaos, national disasters, economic greed, betrayals of trust, and the average array of family challenges needs to be balanced with building families, neighborhoods, community groups, and business models that are based on the common good of all humans affected or involved within the activities of each and every member of every human group.

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