THE LORD’S DAY
Undoubtedly, God has blessed all the days, which are the work of His creative Hand, but the benediction has not been the same for all. He has blessed some to give them to us, and some to reserve them for His own honour. No doubt, also, every day should be sanctified; the division has not been so marked that God exacts nothing from us save every Sunday.
We should raise ourselves to Him in Spirit every day, serving Him in our labours, our occupations, our cares; but on Sunday we should offer Him our whole hearts, free from all distraction, and the whole day employed exclusively in His service.
Let us repeat it then, that we may never forget it: six days of labour made fertile by daily, unswerving fidelity, and a seventh day of repose, blessed and sanctified by the pious exercises of religion. Such is the essential order, simple and invariable.
Outside of it there is nothing but disorder and confusion; disorder, if the Lord’s day is profaned by an accursed labour, made up for by idle and sensual repose on working days; confusion, if the week is spent in a manner which incapacitates us either for work or for doing good, the Lord’s Day brings only a repose full of fatigue and boredom.
How should we sanctify Sundays and holidays of obligation? The Church herself answers us, with her wonted simplicity of language: “… by serving God devoutly.”
“By serving God”: these few words exclude servile works which might hinder the divine service, and the pursuit of business, which might distract the mind and heart, turning them from the devotional homage to which this day is consecrated.
“Devoutly”: this word conveys the pious abnegation, by which we should distinguish this day, which is not ours, God having solemnly consecrated it to Himself. On the one hand, then, the precept of the sanctification of the Sunday prohibits the performance of servile works, and, on the other, it prescribes the performance of works of piety, and the employment of this day in the service of God.
– Laverty & Sons, 1905