Raking Leaves on Sunday

Hi everyone!

I am not sure what to do in this situation. Last night, my Mom said that today (Sunday) is going to be a major raking day, as it is going to supposedly snow tomorrow. I love raking, but raking is work, and working on Sunday is forbidden. I raked last night, and I will willingly rake tomorrow, but I don’t feel right doing it today. Is it alright is I tell my Mom that I can not rake today? (breaking the 4th commandment?)

Thank you for your help! God bless!

Did you go to Mass today or last night? If so, quit worrying about such things. Some things may need to be done on a Sunday- this topic is addressed quite often on CAF. Doing unnecessary work on a Sunday is the concern and omeowners, farmers, and others may need to do necessary work around their property, especially if weather is an issue. With the snow coming, some may need to weather-proof their windows or change furnace filters. Those are things that are part of being prudent and prepared and you can’t control weather, especially if it was windy on Friday and the leaves all came down and you couldn’t get all them raked on Saturday, you can do them on Sunday if inclement weather is coming. The main thing is that you attended Mass today or last evening. We mustn’t get scrupulous about work that needs to be done. While you are physically raking, spend some time in mental prayer for those who suffer from scrupulosity and for those who are disable and cannot rake their leaves or take care of their homes without help.

Working on Sunday is not forbidden. We are instructed to avoid unnecessary work on Sundays. If inclement weather is coming and what needed to be done was not finished yesterday, it’s not sinful to complete it today, provided you attended Mass already (be it last night or sometime today). It would be imprudent and foolish to not do the necessary things around your home that need to be completed before the snow comes. So, while you are attending to family needs** by helping your family take care of the gift that God has given them in the form of a home and property by raking those leaves, say some prayers for those who suffer from scrupulosity and those who are disabled and cannot care for their home and for those who have no home to take care for.

“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. The charity of truth seeks holy leisure – the necessity of charity accepts just work (CCC 2185)”

Sounds good to me!!

There is nothing wrong with raking with your family on Sunday. I’d recommend visiting the scrupulosity forum if you have trouble with this.

Kids on our Traditional Latin Mass community tried to use the Sunday excuse to get out of shoveling snow. Father quickly put them in their place: shoveling snow is not only not forbidden on a Sunday, but it can also be necessary and an act of charity.

We are not Jews, where we can’t walk a Sabbath’s day journey before we violate some kind of precept. We’re obligated to render the worship due to God and avoid the work that hinders that worship and the necessary rest of mind and body. Raking leaves in itself does not violate either of those.

Raking leaves sounds like a good excuse to get out and enjoy God’s beautiful creation, what better day than a Sunday to enjoy God.

Personally, i like to mow mine down into mulch:D

Cardinal Ratzinger said: that the book of Genesis teaches us that the purpose of the Sabbath is to enjoy creation.

I always remember that and tell my family that every Sunday.

So you need to make sure you appreciate and take time to enjoy creation too. But you don’t have to be precise and do no work exactly for 24 hours. Thinking like that is what we call Legalism. Or just a way to get out of chores.

I disagree and I’m not the scrupulous type.

Raking leaves is quite different from cleaning snow from walkways.
Those leaves could wait, there is no rush. Why not rake them some other time? The snow will melt and there will be other good days. There is plenty of time before spring.

It would be different if you had a deadline on vacating the house, or for some other good reason. But just raking leaves before a snow…thumbs down.

Why not put Jesus first and do his will by keeping his day better.

My grandfather would use Sunday as an excuse. :smiley:

As for me, I would side with Cardinal Ratzinger. My 16 y.o. daughter and I got a whole lot of leaf raking done on Sunday–all of it, in fact. And I didn’t even have to ask her to come out and help! :slight_smile:

From that perspective, we a) enjoyed being outdoors, b) spent a lot of uninterrupted Daddy-Daughter time together, c) made the yard look really nice, d) don’t have the stress of not having gotten it done before the weather turns bad.

I am definitely confused, as Numbers 15:32-36 says that a man gathering sticks/wood on the Sabbath was to be stoned:

32And it came to pass, when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, and had found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day, 33That they brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole multitude. 34And they put him into prison, not knowing what they should do with him. 35And the Lord said to Moses: Let that man die, let all the multitude stone him without the camp. 36And when they had brought him out, they stoned him, and he died as the Lord had commanded.

I’m glad we were not living in Israel in those days!:whacky:

Is there any indication that either God wants us to stop honoring the Sabbath or that he said there would no longer be a punishment if we did so?

I think it is disingenuous that a self -proclaimed atheist questions how and why we live the way that we do.

Life is not a game.

We simply love God and draw closer to him. No games. Just love.

SnowAngels, the original poster, asked whether it was proper to rake on the Sabbath. My response wasn’t to say whether one should or should not follow that commandment. It was solely to present a point of fact that God considers picking up sticks (which is very close to raking leaves) on a Sunday is worthy of death and to warn the OP.

. Many people must work on Sunday’s ,hospitals , farmers,police…

For starters the OP is asking about work on Sunday.

Saturday is the Sabbath.

I love it when atheists quote scripture. And further when they claim to know what God is thinking. Amazing arrogance really. But perhaps you are genuinely searching.I will give the benefit of the doubt. Please humbly accept my reference to the words of Christ from Mark 2.

23 It happened that he was walking through the corn-fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples fell to plucking the ears of corn as they went. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, Look, why are they doing what it is not lawful to do on the sabbath? 25 Whereupon he said to them, Have you never read of what David did, when he and his followers were hard put to it for hunger?[5] 26 How he went into the tabernacle, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves set forth there before God, which only the priests may eat, and gave them, besides, to those who were with him? 27 And he told them, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. 28 So that the Son of Man has even the sabbath at his disposal.[6]

So please stop and consider. The Sabbath is FOR US. That is what God has said.

Now in more primitive times (thousands of years earlier when men were still very barbaric) we have record of this story of a man who did not respect the Sabbath and was stoned to death.

There is no requirement that you believe the man was actually stoned to death. In fact, it is perfectly OK if this man never existed. The point of the story is to get folks to begin to take a day to understand that the Sabbath is for them to enjoy creation.

In barbaric days, the only way you could get folks to do that was to have a story that said if you didn’t, then you would be killed, just like the man in the story.

Legalistic understandings of the Sabbath only make sense if you deny the existence of the words of Christ.

I will accept Christ’s words as to what God thinks rather than the interpretation of an atheist of a Bronze age story from an oral tradition where stories were used to persuade people on a regular basis. Remember they could not read. And Moses was just trying to get his tribe all on the same page.

Do not interpret the bible literally please. You have to take it in as a whole. Do not quote little passages as ‘facts’. It is not a set of data for you you to analyze like that. It is an unfolding story of God’s love for his people.

Thank you for listening.

Peace

I recall, years ago, going on a retreat at a monastery. As part of it, they took us to a convent of some consequence to see a “relic chapel” they had there. Pretty impressive.

When we got there, a group of the nuns were raking leaves. They were smiling and giggling and sort of acting up for nuns. The nun who acted as a guide explained that this was their recreation period.

Soooooooo, while I guess any activity can be viewed as recreation or as a chore, it has never seemed to me after that experience, that raking leaves could really be viewed as “work”. If, to the nuns, it was play, why should I think of it as work? I don’t recall if it was Sunday or not, but if the nuns got recreation periods on Sundays, then I suppose they might have raked leaves then too.

I don’t think I’m making any assumptions from what the scripture says. It shows that God believes that one should not work on the Sabbath. It shows that picking up sticks/gathering wood is considered work. It shows that God feels the punishment for violating the Sabbath laws in at least this case is death by stoning.

Amazing arrogance really. But perhaps you are genuinely searching.I will give the benefit of the doubt. Please humbly accept my reference to the words of Christ from Mark 2.

23 It happened that he was walking through the corn-fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples fell to plucking the ears of corn as they went. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, Look, why are they doing what it is not lawful to do on the sabbath? 25 Whereupon he said to them, Have you never read of what David did, when he and his followers were hard put to it for hunger?[5] 26 How he went into the tabernacle, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves set forth there before God, which only the priests may eat, and gave them, besides, to those who were with him? 27 And he told them, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. 28 So that the Son of Man has even the sabbath at his disposal.[6]

If we take Mark 2:23-28 and see how it interacts with Numbers 15:32-36 (as opposed to simply discarding the passage in Numbers) a few possibilities occur. Perhaps picking corn isn’t work whereas gathering wood is work. Perhaps God allows for breaking of the Sabbath if it becomes necessary (for example, the disciples were quite hungry). Perhaps though God has changed from Numbers to Mark, although we have to discard that because repeatedly we are told that God is unchanging.

So please stop and consider. The Sabbath is FOR US. That is what God has said.

God also said that the man who picked up sticks was to be stoned. Those two things the Bible says God said conflict with each other.

Also we have to ask ourselves what is meant by saying the Sabbath is for us. Does that mean we can do whatever we wish on the Sabbath so long as it is not sinful? Does it instead mean that the Sabbath is for us so long as we don’t exceed the restrictions set forth for us? I wouldn’t be so quick to answer no to the second question, since I’ve heard on EWTN several times that the Church defines freedom apart from the so-called “hyper freedom” that people in places like the United States use. It is possible that by saying the Sabbath is for us that it is for the benefit of humans yet doesn’t mean there are no restrictions on our activities.

Now in more primitive times (thousands of years earlier when men were still very barbaric) we have record of this story of a man who did not respect the Sabbath and was stoned to death.

There is no requirement that you believe the man was actually stoned to death. In fact, it is perfectly OK if this man never existed. The point of the story is to get folks to begin to take a day to understand that the Sabbath is for them to enjoy creation.

To say that when God tells you an act will draw a punishment that he doesn’t mean it seems like a dangerous path to take. It has God lying, which we are told he doesn’t do. It throws other things that he has purported to have said into question.

Most importantly, everything in the Bible is true in some way according to the Church. But if we say that the story in Numbers is false and used to scare the barbarians into honoring the Sabbath then it is not true in any way, shape, or form.

In barbaric days, the only way you could get folks to do that was to have a story that said if you didn’t, then you would be killed, just like the man in the story.

So let’s say in those barbaric days that a person doesn’t heed the warning about the Sabbath. I would think that one of two things would then happen. Either the person would be punished as described in the story in Numbers, which you are saying is not what God wants; or the person is not punished and then the story serves no purpose from that point on.

Legalistic understandings of the Sabbath only make sense if you deny the existence of the words of Christ.

I would counter by taking two contradictory tales as not contradictory by assuming the falsity of one tale only makes sense if one denies the full truth of the Bible.

I will accept Christ’s words as to what God thinks rather than the interpretation of an atheist of a Bronze age story from an oral tradition where stories were used to persuade people on a regular basis. Remember they could not read. And Moses was just trying to get his tribe all on the same page.

If the story in Numbers is false, should it be removed from the Bible? If Moses claimed God said something that he did not, did he bear false witness?

Do not interpret the bible literally please. You have to take it in as a whole. Do not quote little passages as ‘facts’.

I quoted as a fact in so much that the Church says the whole of the Bible is true. There is no way that the stories in Numbers and Mark can both be true, even in a figurative way.

It is not a set of data for you you to analyze like that. It is an unfolding story of God’s love for his people.

If these are parts of a whole story, then its obvious contradictions needs to be addressed and we can’t pretend they don’t exist.

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