Summer’s officially here! And while the glorious long days are wonderful, summer can wreak havoc with your spiritual practices. For those of you who have gone back to church, it can be difficult to focus on the liturgy while also following social distancing requirements. Some churches offer fewer Mass times in the summer, friends you count on are off on vacation, and frankly, during the lockdown you’ve been doing spiritual reading to sustain you and you might not have the energy now to read more. What can you do?
- Make a retreat. This is the best time for it, when your family is occupied with their own summer pursuits. There are some beautiful DIY retreats you can do (Awakening Love is one of them) and you’ll immediately feel a reconnection with God.
- Reconnect with nature. The earth is God’s gift to us, but we take it for granted most of the time (and spend a good part of the winter avoiding it altogether!). Take a walk—preferably barefoot—and drink in the beauty of God’s world. This is the year of Laudato si, Pope Francis’ reminder that we are all connected to our planet and all who live here. Take advantage of it!
- Understand that this summer is different. With the fine weather, there’s a temptation to pretend that COVID-19 is behind us, to draw a line under everything bleak and difficult that’s happened in the first part of the year. But as you find the “new normal,” remember that we all need to talk a little differently in the world this year, and that your prayers are what keep you sane… and others safe. Pray for your community, that the summer will be a healthy one for all.
Summertime is an amazing opportunity to get outside, to feel the sun and the wind, to rediscover the world we’ve been missing as we sheltered in place. Be safe as you begin to enjoy it again!