[quote=DreadVandal]It is NOT constant definitive teaching of the Church that you cannot shop on Sundays. That being said, the avoidance of any unnecessary shopping is a great spiritual practice and it does show solidarity with those who have to work on Sundays.
I think the truth is somewhere in between the alternatives you’ve mentioned. Of course, Sunday shopping isn’t definitively, categorically forbidden in all circumstances (and nobody here said it was). On the other hand, there’s strong evidence that avoiding unnecessary shopping isn’t just an optional “spiritual practice.” If it were, why would so many popes and bishops have spoken so strongly on the subject? And why would it be mentioned in so many “examinations of conscience”… such as this one, which can be found on many orthodox Catholic web sites?
[quote=DreadVandal]Our economy, for better or worse (likely worse) demands that commerce be as active as possible. If there was a sudden, huge drop in Sunday shopping, it would likely have quite negative economic consequences.
Quite possibly. And if all Catholics suddenly started going to Mass on Sunday, there would likely be terrible traffic and parking problems.
[quote=DreadVandal]Its likely a venial sin or at least a sign of attachment if one does not do this. But I wouldn’t fear going to hell for it.
Again, maybe true. But even if it’s “just” a venial sin, it still isn’t something we should knowingly and willingly be doing on a regular basis.
From the CCC:
"(1863) Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin."
[quote=Dubervilles]Shopping is what my husband and I usually do as an activity together on Sundays–even if that is just wandering around the mall…we get tired of watching TV or movies and playing video game or on the computer–when it’s cold outside it’s either sit in the house and stare at each other all day and do the same boring things or go shopping (I choose shopping).
Well, I can see how you might feel that way. My husband and I would get bored with non-stop TV and video games, too. Why not plan on trying something a little different next Sunday? Reading Scripture or other great books… learning to sing or play beautiful music… cooking a special dinner… bundling up and going for a walk in God’s beautiful creation… there are so many options.
Even better, you and your beloved could share your material and spiritual gifts with friends, family, or strangers who are in need. As John Paul II wrote,
If Sunday is a day of joy, Christians should declare by their actual behavior that we cannot be happy “on our own.” They look around to find people who may need their help. It may be that in their neighborhood or among those they know there are sick people, elderly people, children or immigrants who precisely on Sundays feel more keenly their isolation, needs and suffering.
It is true that commitment to these people cannot be restricted to occasional Sunday gestures. But presuming a wider sense of commitment, why not make the Lord’s Day a more intense time of sharing, encouraging all the inventiveness of which Christian charity is capable?
Inviting to a meal people who are alone, visiting the sick, providing food for needy families, spending a few hours in voluntary work and acts of solidarity: These would certainly be ways of bringing into people’s lives the love of Christ received at the Eucharistic table. Lived in this way, not only the Sunday Eucharist but the whole of Sunday becomes a great school of charity, justice and peace.
Dies Domini, #52, 72-73
BTW, I hope your feelings of “boredom” on Sundays just come from a lack of ideas about things to do, and not from a deeper sense of spiritual deadness… also known as “Spiritual acedia, torpor and depression.” The above article has a long-winded title, but a simple message: Many American Catholics are so preoccupied with material comforts, they’re missing out on feeling the joy that comes from seeking God.
And that joy is what Sunday rest is all about!