Does your relationship with God grow deeper during the summer months? Does the pace of life slow down a little and allow more time for prayer and study? Do we grow in gratitude for the gift of God's blessings in our lives? The school playgrounds may be empty and the textbooks may be closed, but learning should continue throughout the summer for both young and old alike. The journey of faith is not scheduled on an academic year calendar. The admonition from Sacred Scripture is clear. "Take up your cross daily and follow me." It doesn't even hint at taking a couple of months off during the summer.
I want to encourage you to set some goals for this summer in regard to your spiritual life. Obviously, it will look differently depending upon which stage of life you are currently living. Use these suggestions and adapt as necessary for your life's circumstances.
1. Spend time each day in prayer. If you are not living alone, try to spend some time praying together with the other members of your household.
2. Study the Catechism or other doctrinal type of book. Learn about the faith. Set a specific goal in regard to what you want to learn. There could be a variety of topics: (A) The Creed; (B) The Ten Commandments; (C) The Liturgy; (D) Prayer and the many forms of prayer; (E) Morality; (F) etc.
3. What are you going to do to build up the Kingdom of God during the summer? How will you bring to life the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?
4. If you have the opportunity to travel, which shrine or church will you make it a point to visit while vacationing? These visits to sacred places can greatly enrich our lives of faith. Don't miss the opportunity.
When the month of September rolls around, and the new academic year is underway, will you be able to look back and say something like this? "It was a great summer. I am closer to God now than I was at the beginning."