Monday, September 4, 2017
When workers do not have adequate time to rest, families suffer. Also lost is the necessary time for spiritual growth and building a relationship with God. Pope Francis has said it is "inhuman" that parents must spend so much time working that they cannot play with their children. Surely many wish for more time, but their working conditions do not allow it. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "Even as God rests in Himself alone and is happy in the enjoyment of Himself, so our own sole happiness lies in the enjoyment of God. Thus, also, He makes us find rest in Himself, both from His works and our own. It is not, then, unreasonable to say that God rested in giving rest to us." A culture that obsesses less over endless activity and consumption may, over time, become a culture that values rest for the sake of God and family. Employers ought to consider the total well-being of their employees and prioritize conditions that help them to thrive as human persons. Wages and working hours should support the fundamental needs of people to form and nurture families. The spiritual needs of workers must also be taken into account, so that God may more easily draw them into deeper relationship toward their ultimate purpose.
One of my favorite memories of being stationed in Germany was the mandatory closing to shops from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning. As a result I was able to spend time with my family and walking with them through the beautiful German woodlands and a family. Often we Volksmarched together. There are Volksmarching Clubs in America.