Sacred recreation-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Friday, August 3, 2012
THERE was a time quite long ago when I was but a child that whenever the priest starts his sermons during Mass, the men, especially, would leave the pews and go out for a cigarette or to chat with others on the latest in current goings on.
One of the thrusts of the local Synod held a few years back was to work on homilies and how the faithful can be moved or inspired by the sermons. We have seen the exodus of Catholics to other Christian sects because they give such overpowering and emotionally passionate speeches that you go home totally banged into transformation and subsequent conversion.
Now, I can honestly say that the majority of our priests do give good if not great sermons touching on the inspiration of the lives of the saints or the readings of the day. If we listen intently, God answers the questions that have clouded our minds during these homilies. Also, we gain so many insights on how to make our lives more meaningful.
Listening to Fr. Tumonong in his homily last Sunday expanded my knowledge on how our time of recreation can be likewise a godly experience.
Sometimes, with all the troubles and trials that beset our lives, as well as the work that must be done, we have scruples about taking an R an R. Fidelity to duty is what crosses our minds and we carry on even during holidays and Sundays and the time after work to get more things done. We have become slaves.
But Fr. Tumonong pointed out that on the 7th day God rested. And that we too, should take some time to rest and have recreation. What makes this R and R godly? Rest and Recreation should be spent enjoying the good things of creation and entertaining good thoughts especially of people.
Time spent for rest and recreation with friends and family should be holistic. It should be a moment or moments of friendly camaraderie and bonding, a time of cementing family ties and assuring love and concern. There need not be sugary or cheesy dialogues but just engagement in fun activities and conversation. Even singing and dancing can be godly pastimes.
What is not good is to hurl around and destroy people through malicious gossip or character assassination. I thought that gossiping was a monopoly of women but lately I also got wind that when men congregate for coffee, they do it too. It is surprising what they too talk about aside from trying to solve the problems of the sugar industry. Gossip is destructive and should not be part of leisurely rest and recreation.
It is human to have gripes and ill feelings. While it is likewise true that there are “chismis” circulating about certain people, true as they may sometimes be, however, there is a lot of flavoring blended into the story that the simple truth handed down from mouth to mouth becomes an altogether new narrative. If we are living witnesses to the deed and to the veracity of the gossip, there is still a pastoral approach to the situation. We must be compassionate and merciful because there are prevailing factors behind every story.
There was so much meat into what Fr. Tumonong said. R and R is meant to be bountiful to the body and the spirit. To meditate and reflect is productive while to malign is destructive to the soul.
I heard this sermon a week after my family and I decided to take a respite and head for Lakawon Island. Lakawon is perhaps one of the most precious gems we have as far as natural wonders in sand and sea in this part of our provincial world. A little bitten down, Victor Puey is making moves and initiatives to transform the place.
I was a bit fuzzy about taking the trip since there was a pile of paperwork to be attended. However, since my children insisted, I conceded. It was worth the trip. The banca ride was smooth as silk. The sun, covered most of the time with fluffy white clouds, prevented us from getting scorched. The sea water was of perfect temperature—warm and welcoming. The tide washing the shore was of perfect height. We were lying down on the white sandy beach under a nipa shanty with half our bodies in the water and the other half out of it. It was glorious!
On our trip home, we saw so many starfishes resting in the clear waters below, and on towards the middle of the boat trip, there were many schools of flying fish alternating up and down the glistening blue green water looking like waves and ending in ripples. The sunset was utterly beguiling burning in different hues of flaming red to subtle orange. That was truly a sight.
Hearing Fr. Tumonong’s homily, indeed, affirmed that there is a time for work and a time for play. And the time of play must be uplifting for both body and soul! The trip to Lakawon that Sunday was indeed truly uplifting for it energized our bodies and invigorated our souls. Thank you, Lord!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 03, 2012.