GLEN COVE, NY — In the old Roman calendar of the Catholic Church, we would have recently started the season after Pentecost. Now, it is lumped in with the season after Epiphany and the Septuagesima season as time throughout the year. This is a shame because the season after Pentecost is a special season.
The liturgical year begins with Advent, which quickly progresses to Christmas, which even more quickly progresses to Epiphany. Before we know it, Septuagesima is here and we march on to Lent, which is all about progress toward Easter. Then we work our way through the most joyous season of the year to Pentecost. Pentecost has a little coda consisting of Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, and the Sacred Heart; and then we are through with all that progress until the leaves fall off the trees about four months later.
Summer Sundays are no time for the frenzy of soccer, hockey, or basketball. Summer was truly made by God to help us imitate his seventh day rest.
Progress toward a good thing is good. Progress toward a bad thing is bad. Progress for the sake of progress is one of the worst superstitions of the modern world. For six days, God made progress in his creation until he created his best creature. On the seventh day, God rested.
We are urged to rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath. Some people take every seventh year off from teaching — a Sabbatical. After seven times seven years, there is a jubilee. All of this mirrors God resting on the seventh day. Man was not made to sit through two- or three-hour sermons by Jonathan Edwards on Sunday; he was made to rest for a good part of the day.
The Season after Pentecost is made for such relaxation. The only significant feast between the feasts of the Sacred Heart and Christ the King is the Assumption, strictly a one-day affair. It is the only season for truly relaxing Sunday activities: opera at the Baths of Caracalla; the BBC Proms; Sousa played by a community band in the park. A leisurely game of baseball in a field without lights, a cricket match with unlimited overs, a long tea break, and a team that does not let all its men bat to make sure it had time to dispose of 10 opponents.
Summer Sundays are no time for the frenzy of soccer, hockey, or basketball. Summer was truly made by God to help us imitate his seventh day rest. This is especially true of the afternoons.
The Church and the natural seasons have worked together to give us four months without May processions, Carnival, Easter Egg hunts, Christmas presents, and fasts. For most of the year, the liturgical color changes every month or two, sometimes every month. During our Summer rest, it stays green for four months, just as the trees stay green.
God commanded us to rest, and we should savor these four months when progress is banished. Soon enough, the leaves will fall, and the progress through winter to the next spring and summer will start again.
The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2013
by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com.
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Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the
New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in
many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles
about the law.
See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.
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