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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE THIRD COMMANDMENT: "Remember that You Keep Holy the Sabbath Day."
    • THE SPIRITUAL SABBATH
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THE SPIRITUAL SABBATH

 

The contemplation of divine things may be exercised on the Sabbath.

However, this is for the more perfect.54 "O taste, and see that the Lord is

sweet,"55 and this is because of the quiet of the soul. For just as the

tired body desires rest, so also does the soul. But the soul's proper rest

is in God: "Be Thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge."56

"There remaineth therefore a day of rest for the people of God. For he that

is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God

did from His."57 When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with her"

(i.e., Wisdom).58

 

However, before the soul arrives at this rest, three other rests must

precede. The first is the rest from the turmoil of sin: "But the wicked are

like the raging sea which cannot rest."59 The second rest is from the

passions of the flesh, because "the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and

the spirit against the flesh."60 The third is rest from the occupations of

the world: "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and art troubled about many

things."61

 




54. "The spiritual Sabbath consists in a holy and mystical rest wherein,

the carnal man (vetus homo, Rom., vi. 4) being buried with Christ, the new

man is renewed to life and carefully applies himself to exercise the spirit

of Christian piety" ("Roman Calechism," "Third Commandment," 15).

 



55. Ps. xxxiii. 9.

 



56. Ps. xxx. 3.

 



57. Heb., iv. 9-10.

 



58. Wis., viii. 16.

 



59. Isa., lvii. 20.

 



60. Gal., v. 17.

 



61. Luke, x. 41.

 






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