“Summertime and the livin is easy…” the opening line of one song from the Broadway play “Porgy and Bess” written by George Gershwin, attempts to capture our attitude during the summer. Schools are out for summer vacation, many other commitments are taking a summer break and COVID-19 virus restrictions have been lifted. Our attention should now be focused on an easier, slower life schedule, which might include a “get-away” vacation.
Taking a break from all our daily routines, our commitments and meetings are important for our mental and physical health. Everyone needs a break, to rest, re-energize and come back fresh and ready to work.
While taking a vacation is important, it is also important for us to understand that there are at least two areas of our life that one should never take a break from. First, our spiritual life, our relationship with God. As with all our significant relationships in life, with our spouses, our children, our parents, or other family members, we tend not to take a vacation from them, because of their importance. The same is true with God. God is always present in our life and is always answering our prayers with His blessings. Therefore, it is also important for us to continuously be present with God. We need to pray every day, as we seek God’s blessings for the new day that awaits us, and to thank God for the blessings of the day. We need to gather as a community of faith on Sunday to worship God and to receive that Spiritual Food needed to make it through another week. Since God never takes a vacation from us because of His Great Love, why would we want to take a vacation from Him?
The second area that one should never take a vacation from, is education. During these summer months “ when our livin is easy,” it is an excellent opportunity for us to do some extra reading, especially in areas that are of great interest to us. I have discovered over the years that reading can be a relaxing activity that engages the mind and transports me to another place or time. I especially encourage our youth to spend some time everyday reading, since it can help to improve their vocabulary, their writing skills and knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Remember, as in all aspects of life, the more we use a particular skill, the better we will become using that skill. Thus, the more we read, the better we will become at reading, and comprehending what is being read. Education is a lifelong commitment. An education can open doors for us and expand our minds to realize the treasures that are held within us.
It is good for us to take a break from our daily routines, enjoy some time relaxing and doing something different. Continue to keep an open mind to new areas of knowledge. Summertime is our opportunity to be reenergized, which is always good.Enjoy your summer and relax. Remember to stay in touch with God through your daily life of prayer and attend Mass regularly to receive God’s Word and our Jesus’ gift to us, the “Bread of Life,” which provides us with the spiritual food we need to make it in this life. Yes, as you prepare to rest this summer, just remember to pack a few good books to read and God’s presence in your sack.
Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J.
PRAYER FOR FAMILIES
We bless your name, O Lord,
For sending your own incarnate Son,
To become part of a family,
So that, as he lived its life,
He would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you Lord,
To protect and watch over this family,
So that in the strength of your grace
It members may enjoy prosperity,
Possess the priceless gift of your peace,
And, as the Church alive in the home,
Bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.