August 11, 2022
by Assistant Principal – Mission and Identity, Mr Geoff Brodie
We are about to enjoy a unique long weekend. The Catholic schools of the Ballarat Diocese have chosen to respond to challenges of the on-going pandemic by offering families a chance to step aside from the normal routines and rest. Sometimes in the busy-ness of modern routines we can forget that the call to rest is part of the original plan for creation.
“Just as God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,” human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives. (Catechism of the Catholic Church at 2184)
During the term our College offers many extra-curricula (re-creational, re-creating) activities, when students can set aside the on-going and cumulative responsibilities of studies, to simply abide in the moment and enjoy the company of friends. The lost tradition of slow Sundays, when the demands of economic life would be paused, sought to institutionalise the gift of abiding with family and friends. For the Catholic family, this was further enriched in the ritual of attending Mass to abide in friendship with God.
This is not a plea for nostalgia, to a return to a mythical golden age. Instead, let us acknowledge that human life inherently has a rhythm of work and rest. However, it is not nostalgia but an urgent contemporary issue to ask if we respond adequately to that reality?
St Pope John Paul II wrote of the dignity of work through the opportunity it offers to take responsibility for the person we are becoming:
“Human work has an ethical value of its own which clearly and directly remains linked to the fact that the one who carries it out is a person, a conscious and free subject, that is to say a subject that decides about himself.”
Hopefully our young men come to know that this ‘decision’ applies also to their work as students. Through our work, as a College community, to create a just and merciful world, built on the truth of love, we are sharing in the creative power of God. Just as we share in God’s work, so too we should share in God’s rest. Rest creates the opportunity for us to contemplate the desires that motivate our actions and the fears that stop us loving. Only in rest can we step back and contemplate the person we are becoming in the business/busy-ness of living. Only in rest can we renew our endurance and courage to be witnesses to the saving love of God.
Our work shares in God’s plan, and so too does our rest. Let us accept the gift of this long weekend and return with renewed commitments to our quest for truth, goodness and beauty.