Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Keep Holy the Sabbath (Lighthouse Catholic Media)

Keep Holy the Sabbath by Dr. Tim Gray is one of the latest talks from Lighthouse Catholic Media. I've been a big fan of Dr. Gray over the years, as he wrote one of my favorite Catholic books of all time called Walking with God. He has also led several Bible studies for Ascension Press, which I haven't had the pleasure of participating in yet. Maybe one day though.

In his talk, Keep Holy the Sabbath, Dr. Gray begins by talking about the New Evangelization and Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Deis Domini. In this Apostolic Letter, Pope John Paul II encourages us to reclaim the Lord's Day, and he truly believed that this would be a fundamental aspect of the New Evangelization. Dr. Gray then references Catholic philosopher, Josef Pieper's work Lesiure: The Basis of Culture. He believed this type of leisure/rest could form a right ordering for all the things that we do. This is an argument for reclaiming the Christian Sabbath.

Dr. Gray then discusses how overly-connected we are, and that is painfully obvious to anyone if you ever go to a restaurant. So few people sit at the table and talk anymore without a smartphone in their hand, which they are checking every few seconds. He argues that this over-connection has made us under-connected, as we don't make real connections anymore. He illustrates this hustle and bustle lifestyle with a story of world-famous violinist Joshua Bell, who played for free in the subway on a Stradivarius. In the video, no one has the time to slow down and hear the music, because they are all in a rush. Only one child stops momentarily to listen before being dragged away by his parent. How sad for those people, and how sad for all of us that we cannot stop and appreciate beauty in this world due to our "too busy" schedule.

We are then treated to a history lesson starting with General Pompey, who conquered the Jews. He noted that they had a Temple with no images, a sea in which no body would sink, and lastly that there was a day of the week in which no one worked. He then goes back further to talk about Moses and the Exodus, and the original request of rest from work, not to let the Israelites be set free. He paints this picture to show us the culture that God had to free the Israelites from, a culture of constant working and no rest. That is not something most of us can imagine, because we have weekends. Instead, we fill our weekends with other tasks to keep us busy.

I could go on and on about all the references that Dr. Gray makes to illustrate his point, but it's a talk you need to hear in its fullness, so you're going to have to buy the talk! If you are like me, you have a hard time resting on Sunday. It might not be paid work or your job, but you over-commit yourself when you should be resting. If you want to listen to an enlightening lecture that teaches us not only the history and theology of resting on Sundays, but also the practical value, I highly recommend this talk!

Be sure to keep listening after the lectures ends, because at the end of this talk is a brief sample lesson from Lighthouse Catholic Media's latest project Symbolon. I have only had the pleasure of viewing some sample videos from their website, but it looks pretty awesome! It has big names like Dr. Sri, Dr. Gray, and the Everts to name a few. They also have an intriguing and affordable subscription service for your local parish as well. For the price of $900 annually ($600 for the first year if ordering before June 30th), your ENTIRE parish gains access to the first 10 lessons on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. That's less than $2 a day in the church's budget. To see a sample, check out the video below!