By Peter Paul Marcelo, BCBP Pasay
Breakfast sharing in Boracay… sounds fun! Well, that’s exactly what we did in one of our out-of-town summer vacations two years ago. I never imagined the family would be able to hit the beach and serve the Brotherhood at the same day – my type of vacation!
Since we were coming in from Kalibo airport that morning, our brothers and sisters of Boracay Outreach did not mind the wait. The long van, boat, and tricycle ride from the airport to the breakfast venue had only increased our excitement to meet our brothers. With our luggage in tow, we started the breakfast sharing right away after a quick munch.
Many, if not most of us spend our summer vacation by visiting relatives in the provinces, and while there – take the chance to see various tourist spots. Some people would spend it as a chance to attend parties and do drinking sprees.
Some will take a well-deserved rest. The whole summer is spent at home. At times they have movie marathons – watch DVDs and review episodes of their favorite sitcoms.
Let me remind you that these activities are quite dangerous. People fall easily into laziness, idleness or lukewarmness.
St. Josemaria Escriva, the saint of ordinary life, tells us the true Christian meaning of rest and recreation. He said, “All the sins seem to be waiting for the first idle moment. Really, idleness itself must be a sin! Whoever gives himself to the work of Christ cannot expect to have a free moment, for even to rest is not to do nothing; it is to relax with activities that requires less effort.” He also mentioned that, “I have always see rest as time set aside from daily task, never a day of idleness. Rest means recuperation: to gain strength, form ideals, and make plans. In other words it means a change of occupation so you can come back later with new impetus to your daily job.”
Rest is important to us, in fact, it is encouraged by God. Having said this, I believe there is a need for us to “Christianize” or sanctify our rest and recreation. In Genesis, God rested from all His work of creation on the 7th day. Of course God did not rest because of fatigue… He simply doesn’t get tired. God resting means to see a particular activity – in this case, away from the work of creation – and reserve that day for something else, perhaps He had fellowship with Adam and Eve to enjoy the newly created earth together. God set apart that particular day and sanctified it; and so we must keep it holy – as a day portioned to God; a day set aside to participate in worship through the Holy Sacrifice of the mass.
If you must take a break from work-related stress, do so – but don’t take a break from your Christian duties. We cannot create a mind-set that tells us: “Well, God is good and loving. I’ve been working so hard and I know God will understand if I will not be able to attend Mass, skip my prayers and scripture time, or get drunk with my buddies, etc…” By doing this, we are actually taking God for granted. We cannot fall into this complacency. It boils down to lack of love for God.
St Augustine said that our hearts are restless, until they rest in God. To be with God in heaven is our final vacation, our ultimate rest. And that is why we should remain focused and grow more in love with God in ALL our activities, whether it be at work or at rest.
Let us keep holy our vacation time. So, if you are planning to spend vacation in the province, it is encouraged that you drop by our BCBP breakfast meeting, or spend some time with the brothers. Better yet, book your breakfast sharing.
My idea of a great vacation: Spending it with God and the family – all at the same time. Happy vacation to all!