This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and as the days get longer, kids get out of school, and families go on vacation, we can find ourselves falling into new routines. With these new summer routines, it can be easy to let our faith take a back seat, but instead we should take advantage of these summer months to reflect and grow in our faith in new ways.
Fr. John Gordon, coordinator of the Office of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Newark, stopped by Morning Air® to offer some tips for keeping our faith alive this summer.
Make Mass a Priority
Especially during vacation time, you’re not usually rushing off to work or other kinds of obligations. And to have the luxury to get up and go to Mass, it’s a great way to begin the day. Go out for breakfast, or have a nice leisurely breakfast at home, whatever it might be. But those are kinds of ways to luxuriate in the days of these weeks and months that the lovely weather gives to us.
And also we have to have a plan for when the weather isn’t as cooperative, but we’re still on vacation or break mode. I always feel bad, because there is almost always one week during the summer where it rains all week. What do we do when we feel trapped and we need to express ourselves? I just want to encourage all our listeners to keep the faith alive. Take time to play a little with our prayer life, go deeper into the Scriptures, perhaps pray the rosary more meditatively, take a walk and contemplate God, seek the Lord when you’re in a different place, to go visit churches.
Re-establish Your Priorities
[Vacation] helps to re-establish our priorities. We tend to think that we’re so important at work that we can’t be disconnected. They can’t survive a few days or a week without me. And so we’re constantly checking in, and the people at work will take advantage of that, as if we were never away. But vacation time and the summer months give us a chance to re-establish our priorities.
What is really important? Time with my family, time with the Lord, time within my own heart to just recollect myself. Get off that treadmill for a bit, get off that spinning wheel that seems to always be going and going. Take a chance to realize what is really going on here, what’s important.
Make the Most of Your Time
There is going to come a time when we are going to have to make a reckoning of our time before the Lord. And we want to be able to say to the Lord, ‘I used everything you gave me, especially the gift of time. I used it so well – to love you more, to love my family, to love the poor.’
I want to encourage all our listeners as we approach the summer months to make a plan of how to spend that kind of time. If you’re going on vacation, if you’re taking a few days off, if you’re schedule is lightened in some way, have a plan of what you are going to do with that. Whether it’s getting errands done, doing some visiting, doing some work around the house, but also a time to ask, ‘Where is God in this time?’ If I’m given extra time, what portion of that does God get?’
Listen to the full conversation below: