Lesson 361: "To Banbury Cross"

The church to which a young woman went for her Sunday Mass was some distance away; so she travelled there by bus, caught the same bus at the same time every Sunday morning. The conductor noticed that she got off at the same street-corner, where he heard church-bells ringing. One day he said to her, “Excuse me, miss; are you going to Mass?” Now she was shy, didn’t like talking about her religion; so lied. “No,” she answered, blushing; “oh dear no, certainly not.” “Beg pardon,” said the conductor; “but I’m a Christian, and I thought you were. My little son is very ill. I can’t go to Mass, because of my work. I panted some one to say a prayer for him.” I meant to tell you this true story last Sunday, but there wasn’t time. Never be ashamed of being a Christian, or shy about going to Mass. You may lose a chance of helping some one else; and perhaps you remember {St. John 18,25to 27).

But when you have done your Sunday duty, put God first on this his day, it is right and according to God’s will that you should enjoy yourself and be happy for the rest of the day. The Jews made their Sabbath miserable: our Lord told them they were wrong {St. Mark 2, 27 and 3, 4). You and I and everybody are so made that we must have rest; “sabbath” means “rest.” All of us too, however old we are, must have recreation now and then; for our minds and bodies would soon become worn out unless they were “re-created” by leaving our work sometimes. Holidays are necessary; and God means Sunday to be a holiday as well as a holy-day.

Ride a cock-horse (or more likely, a scooter) ; even if your hair wants cutting, and you don’t go “To see a fine lady upon a white horse. With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes.” Go to Victoria Park and row on the lake, only don’t fall in. Take a 6 bus “up west” to look at the shops. Go out to tea with Auntie at Tooting. Do what you like, if there is no sin in it, all the rest of Sunday; though if you are a wise child you will go to Catechism. God means Sunday to be the happiest day in the week.

Put God first. Go to Mass. Then rest, and enjoy yourself. There is a wise old proverb, “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”