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Proper Sabbath Rest


Rest is not idleness.

holyspirit61 Indeed, restlessness is the torment of idle people.  It is not relaxation. Relaxation should never be necessary, because the nervous tension which makes it so should never be present.

Rest, far from being relaxation, is a culmination, a fullness of gathered peace, like the fullness and stillness of waters gathered to a flood tide.

Think of a child asleep in his mother's arms: the abandon with which he gives himself to sleep can only be because he has complete trust in the arms that hold him.  He is not lying asleep on that heart because he is worn out with anxiety.  He is asleep there because it is a delight to him to be asleep there.  The mother rests, too.  She rests in his rest.  Her mind and her body rest in him. His head fits into the crook of her curved arm.  Their warmth is mingled like the warmth of two softly burning flames.  She rocks to and fro, and her rocking is unconsciously timed by his breathing.  Rest is a communion of love between them.  It is a culmination of content: on the child's part, utter trust in his mother; on the mother's part, sheer joy in the power of her love to sustain his life.

Such as this was the rest of God in the beginning of time, when he had created the world: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

God could not need rest.  He could not be tired by creating the world.  His rest was the infinite peace of infinite love.

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houselander Caryll Houselander. "Proper Sabbath Rest." from Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus (Sophia Institute Press, 1995).

Reproduced by kind permission of Sophia Press.  This excerpt appeared in the January, 2015 issue of Magnificat.

The Author

house1house2Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British Roman Catholic laywoman; a mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer. Her first book, This War is the Passion, written during World War II, launched her prolific writing career. She is best known for: A Rocking Horse Catholic, The Reed of God, The Way of the Cross, This War is the Passion, The Risen ChristThe Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy, and Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus.

Copyright © 1995 Sophia Press

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