Keeping the Lord's Day Holy Issue

Hi guys!

I have never closely evaluated the 3rd Commandment. Thus, my own conscience is a bit fuzzy on the subject.
My situation: Yesterday (Saturday) my sister and I started gutting our room as it was half pig-sty, half teenager girl’s room. We finished everything except for cleaning out the large drawer under my bed that is filled with all my 5-year-old-pack-rat-junk. So after I got home from Church today I spent the entire afternoon cleaning out the drawer. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I know this doesn’t fall under the “Keeping the Lord’s Day holy” category. The only justification I have besides just wanting to finally clean it is that my sister was with me the whole time and we talked, laughed, and listened to music while we straightened. Also, my little sisters came in and we had fun sorting through stuff my sister and I had when we were little with them. So, in a sense, it was also bonding time. Nevertheless, I feel bad.

The second circumstance in question arouse about an hour ago. I have been seriously slacking on the dishes in the past month…in fact, I might have done them once when I used to do them every night! As a result, my Mom has been doing them. They didn’t get done yesterday, and I knew if I didn’t do them, she’d stay up late and do them herself. She gets up several hours earlier than anyone else in the house, and I knew she didn’t deserve the burden of doing them. I wanted to do her a favor, so I did them. She was very thankful, but, again, dish-washing isn’t exactly keeping the Lord’s Day holy.
So, now I feel guilty and unsure of if I committed any kind of sin today. What do you think?

God bless, and thank you for your feedback!

One time I heard a priest explain it as, “do what you don’t feel compelled to do”. He gave the example that he hates yard work so that wouldn’t be a good Sunday activity, but for a person that enjoys gardening it would be good.

Some stuff just happens, I may realize I have no clean socks for Monday so I do some laundry. There may be a gross spill in the kitchen that needs attending to. The raw chicken bits in the trash from making Saturday’s dinner may have managed to get really smelly overnight so I take out the trash. Nevertheless, I am not treating it like just another work day, it is a day that is different. I’m focused on something besides my to do list.

For the first instance - I have also been known to do organizing on Sundays. I find it relaxing, even fun. You had quality time with your sisters, so that sounds like a good thing.

For the second - that was a gift to your mother. Do it often! :smiley:

Once a month, I do volunteer work on Sunday. I go to the vigil Mass on Saturday. I really don’t think God minds!

I think the work that is discouraged on Sunday is to work extra for pay, and/or to work instead of going to Mass. People in the medical and some other professions are exempt, tho they need to try to get to a Mass.

Here is what the catechism says: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, *the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, *the performance of the works of mercy, *and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. *Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.”

First of all, you attended Mass, so your activities did not hinder your worship of the Lord. Doing the dishes for your mom was an act of CHARITY (or work of mercy, if you will). If you had not done them, then she would have had to do them. It was a loving thing for you to do for her. We are to refrain from UNNECSSARY work on Sunday. I had to do the dishes today because I’m a wife/mom, and my family has to eat. As for cleaning out your drawer, it sounds like you had a lot of fun doing it and got to spend some quality time with your sisters. That, to me, doesn’t sound like it hindered the joy proper to the Lord’s day. My examination of conscience say that doing unnecessary work for more than than several hours on Sunday is grave matter. Maybe it wasn’t necessary that you do it today, but did it seem like work or a chore, or did it seem more like fun? Was it relaxing? Why don’t you take this matter to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to your heart and tell you how He feels about it?

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