Written by Garrett Ahlers ’12, Philosophy and Catholic Studies
This upcoming weekend is the spring hiatus here at the University. I have a few friends who are heading down to Florida to spend a week on the beach. A few others that I know are going to New York to visit a mutual friend ours who joined the Franciscans a few years ago. Still others among my friends are heading out to do mission work in Honduras and Haiti. And for my part, I will be on a silent retreat for a few days in the wooded hills of Wisconsin.
Four wildly different options among many for Spring Break. And yet, there is a common theme that runs through our plans: it is the promise of leisure. Leisure is not exactly a word that sounds noble or even admirable. It sounds soft and lazy. And yet, an authentic definition of his word can give a whole new perspective on its importance. According to Josef Pieper, leisure is the very basis of culture. But what is leisure? It is, in a nutshell, a retreat into reality. It involves a person being most open and free to enter into a fullness of being that is uninhibited by what tends to become a daily hum-drum, a noisy and busied existence. Leisure is a release from the usual demands not to escape into unreality but to return to what is most real.
I desire leisure this break. Man was made not for constant toil but for the Sabbath rest. Gloria Dei vivens homo: the glory of God is man fully alive. It is my hope that this break will afford for my peers and I the opportunity to be refreshed in our leisure so as to continue to fight the good fight in the days ahead.