In 2015, I became a contributor to Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship and in 2016 became a part of their executive team before stepping down that same year. Below is a piece on Rest I wrote for a series “Getting to Know Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship.” It was originally published April 30, 2016.
Rest therefore acquires a sacred value: the faithful are called to rest not only as God rested, but to rest in the Lord, bringing the entire creation to him, in praise and thanksgiving, intimate as a child and friendly as a spouse. (Paragraph 16)
Each Sunday, Heart of Mary offers free artwork for you to download and use as a phone lock screen – or whatever really. It’s a small way for us to thank you for your prayers and support. But our hope is that it also serves as an invitation to rest.
We live in busy times. We’re shuttling our loved ones everywhere: to and fro, here and there. We’re working, serving our families, and volunteering. And these are good things, to be sure. But are we resting?
I’m not talking about sitting on the couch and putting your feet up for five minutes before you head out the door to serve the church potluck – although that does sound comfy. I’m talking about something more. About something deeper. St. Pope John Paul II spoke extensively on Sunday as a day of rest in his Apostolic Letter,Dies Domini.
It’s early in the Scripture that we first read about rest. It was on the 7th day that God rested (Gen 2:2,3). And later, he commanded it (Ex. 20:8). Of course, this “rest decreed in order to honour the day dedicated to God is not at all a burden imposed upon man, but rather an aid to help him to recognize his life-giving and liberating dependence upon the Creator, and at the same time his calling to cooperate in the Creator’s work and to receive his grace.”
God did not rest for himself; He rested for us. That we might have time to “fully discover” ourselves as created in His image. It’s “something “sacred”, because it is man’s way of withdrawing from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew his awareness that everything is the work of God.” (Para 67).
Each Sunday – on the day of rest – Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship gives to you beauty in the form of a downloadable image, that you might have something to contemplate – even for just a second – and help you enter more fully into that sacred rest. It’s an encouragement to help you find Sunday as the “soul of the other days” that we might encourage each other to be Christians “always in the Lord’s Day, and always celebrating Sunday.” (Para 83).