Saturday, May 13, 2017

Leisure: A Time to Recharge

Korea's work days are the longest compared to other countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). An article in the Catholic Times visits the topic of leisure as a time to be renewed. It mentions a woman, working in a department store, who has only one Monday off a month.

With the economic development of the country, the importance of leisure has come to the fore. The nation has also taken an interest in rest and leisure for the citizens. In May of 2015, a law was promulgated to find a balance between work and leisure and show the importance of leisure in the life of the citizens, guaranteed by law.

In a word, the nation is telling the citizens to rest. Citizens have a right to leisure and they have made this the policy of the country. With a proper balance between work and rest, we have better working situations. Without rest work suffers.

Rest and its place in Catholic teaching begins with God's rest on the seventh day of Creation. It is part of our makeup as human beings needing to alternate between periods of work and rest. Jesus finds time to rest with his apostles in the Scriptures.

"Rest is something 'sacred' because it is man's way of withdrawing from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew his awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends" Encyclical, Dies Domini (St. John Paul II #65).

A spokesperson for the Bishops of Korea has mentioned that a precondition for leisure is not receiving leisure for the sake of leisure. Often leisure is a reason for more stress, another occasion to do more work. 

Leisure is a time to grow as a person and discover who they are and this requires harmony in oneself. It's a time to look over our way of living not only to recharge ourselves but to examine the way we have lived our lives.

"Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life", Catholic Catechism (# 2186).

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