School is out and summer has started. But between registering kids for sports and mapping family trips, I had to make up for it. Where could we seek and find God also in this new season?
Here are seven places you might be excited to meet God with your family this summer.
– Near the water
If you spend time near a lake, river, or ocean, let your thoughts wander from the waves to the God who walked on it.
Take a moment to pray to Jesus who lived near the shore: “Once again he walked along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them” (Mk 2, 13).
– Eat outside
When we think of Jesus eating, we often imagine the Last Supper in the upper room. But remember he also ate outside: miraculous meals when he fed thousands or ordinary afternoons when he stopped to eat with his friends. Sound familiar to the rest stops and road trips of your youth?
Christ even cooked for his friends the day after his resurrection, reminding us that every picnic or campfire meal can lead us to prayer: “Jesus said to them: ‘Come, have your breakfast’” ( Jn 21:12).
– Under the night sky
As a child, I listened to my grandfather tell ancient stories about constellations around a bonfire. Our faith is also full of star stories: the creation of the heavens in Genesis, God’s promise to Abraham of countless offspring, and the new star that directed the Magi to Bethlehem.
How could conversations around a campfire invite your children or grandchildren to wonder like the psalmist who looks at the sky: “When I see your sky, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars? which thou hast set up ”(Ps 8: 4)?
– Among the flowers
As a mom of five boys, I’ve been getting dandelion bouquets for years now. Each proud handle reminds me to stop and see the beauty – even in the weeds – that God has planted around us.
Summer blossoms many landscapes, offering the sight and scent of the bounty of creation in a way that inspires our prayer and praise:
“Learn from how wildflowers grow. They don’t work and don’t spin. But I tell you that even Solomon in all his splendor was not clothed like one of them ”(Mt 6: 28-29).
– On holiday
Jesus and his disciples were often on the move during his ministry. While their trips were far from summer vacation, any chance we have to see or stay in a different place can open our eyes to new ways of knowing God.
As you pack your bags for a family reunion or a weekend with friends, carry the spirit of the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “So they said to each other, ‘Wasn’t our heart burning ( in us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us? ‘ »(Lk 24,32).
– To gather
After long months of isolation or separation, many are happy to reconnect with their loved ones.
As we put extra seats at the table, spread picnic blankets in the park, or duplicate recipes for our favorite summer treats, we can offer thanksgiving prayers: “For where two or three are gathered. in my name I am among them ”(Mt 18:20).
Remember, as you work and play this summer, that rest is also holy: “God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it he rested from all the work he had. done in creation ”(Gen 2: 3).
Take a nap, read a spiritual book, or relax for a hug with the youngest member of your family. What place can you make for the Sabbath each week of this fleeting season?
Copyright © 2021 Catholic News Service / United States Conference of Catholic Bishops