Blessed Vacations!

When rest is also corporate social action


“Rest opens to man, subject to the necessity of work, the perspective of fuller freedom, that of the eternal Sabbath (cf. Heb 4:9-10). Rest allows men to remember and relive the works of God, from Creation to Redemption, to recognize themselves as His work (cf. Eph 2:10), and to give thanks for their life and their subsistence to Him, who of them is the Author” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 258).

The vacation break is an invitation to discover that work is just one more dimension in our existence. One of the great temptations of the businessman and manager is to idolize work, to try to find in work activity the ultimate and definitive meaning of life.

The vacation period is a privileged time to make decisions about the destination and purpose of our professional activity. “Where does this life of ours find its true and full expression? Today’s holidays tell us that everything we do and possess is right as a means, not as an end.” With these words, Paul VI encouraged us to recover the true meaning of the holidays in the Angelus of August 15, 1963.

But vacations are also a time to give voice to silence, a privileged time for the spirit, as Paul VI suggested in his general audience on July 12, 1978: “Vacation should serve not only for physical rest but also for a spiritual task. And the more they lead us to allow ourselves a distraction, an absence, and escape from ourselves, the more they should provide us with moments of interiority, of personal reflection, of working consciousness, of voice, of silence, of listening to the entire development of our life”. 

Resting implies being tired. Tiredness from noise, routine, difficulties, sin… Therefore, for the Christian manager and businessman, going to the source is imperative. Holy Scripture already offers us clues. Resting means:

  • Rest in the Lord: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
  • Rest from enemies, also those of the heart, symbolized by Amalek in the Bible: “Therefore, when the Lord your God gives you rest from your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God gives you in inheritance, that you may possess it, you will blot out the memory of Amalek under heaven. Do not forget” (Dt 25,19).
  • Rest to enjoy God: “The law of the Lord is perfect and is rest for the soul” (Psalm 19).
  • Rest with loved ones: “And I know that when I come to you, I will do so with all the blessings of Christ (…) so that I may come to you with joy and, God willing, I may enjoy some rest in your company.” (Rom 15,29.32).

And once rested, return to the noble task of transforming the world into the Kingdom of God through our responsibilities as businessmen and managers. For this reason, vacations for the Christian manager and businessman are not only a necessary time to regain strength, but are part of the consideration of business and managerial activity as ecclesial action, as social action.

May our Mother and the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, help us live the holidays in harmony with the Gospel.

Happy and well-deserved rest!

Dionisio Blasco España is Territorial Delegate in the Diocese of Malaga and member of the Executive Committee of Business Social Action