It's Sunday morning and I'm sitting in my Okie Trad armchair starting season 4 of The West Wing on Netflix. The show is liberal, and not all that interesting, but I'm sorta hooked on it. The characters are interesting. The plots are a good mental challenge to follow.
And the little lady is in the kitchen making scrambled eggs and bratwurst. Mass is later.
This restful Sunday morning, I'm reminded of good experiences I've had over the years on Sundays.
Growing up we either went to the 5pm Saturday Mass, or 11:30 am Sunday Mass, so when we got up at 7 or 8 on Sunday mornings, we had the liberty of a fine, Sunday breakfast and to lounge reading the funny papers. I remember waking up my parents by crawling into bed with them under the sheets, asking for pancakes. Pancakes were a Sunday special. I have a warm memory of Sunday mornings laying on the living room floor, basking in the morning rays of the Sun, reading the comic section of the Sunday paper. Dad would be reading the news. Mom would be checking out the advertisements. Those Sunday mornings are a warm memory from childhood.
As a teenager, I became best friends with my older sister's boyfriend--now husband. During their few years of courtship, it was a Sunday habit for them to come to our childhood parish for Sunday Mass. Sundays would become a close time for family. I remember the first time I ate pizza dipped in ranch dressing. One restaurant we frequented after Sunday Mass was Simple Simon's pizza. My brother-in-law and I mused how customers were using ranch with their pizza, and it caught on. Next thing you know we were drenching our pizza slices in ranch.
Most Sundays we had dinner back at the house, and it was my mom's homecooking that filled the house with a delightful aroma. Our favorite Sunday meal was spaghetti with all the sides. We would play chess, other board games, and Nintendo. But we spent more time outside playing basketball, hitting plastic golf balls, and building tree houses. As time has passed, those relationships are now substantially different, but those Sunday memories will live with me all my life.
Flash forward, and in my 20's, when I lived in another state, a good friend of mine and I liked to attend a very conservative novus ordo parish far removed from the city, and along the way go bouldering and hiking at a mountainous park surrounding a lake. Over the course of a year, we probably took a half a dozen such trips, which were surreal to me. We had so much fun. It was a day full of spirituality and adventure. After climbing a tall rock face, we would perch on a ledge and pray the psalms. On our way home, we stopped at a rural Catholic retreat center immersed in nature, to pray at their Perpetual Adoration chapel which looked like a log cabin. These were unforgettable times.
Probably for most of us, most of the time, Sunday is a simple day like any other Sunday. Hopefully that means Sunday Mass. But how much do we really keep the day holy? How much true leisure rules the day?
I can imagine an idealistic Sunday. Sunday morning Latin High Mass. Coffee and donuts with fellow parishioners. A full Sunday brunch of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and OJ. Family games and quiet time to study the catechism and for leisure reading. A visit to a family member in the nursing home, or a shut-in at home to give some comfort. Then a hike in the park, dinner, and an evening bonfire. I do hear-tell there are families that manage to live Sundays like that.
Tell me about your Sundays, and fond Sunday memories, in the Comment box below!