Summer is a wonderful time to kick back, relax, and get way from the hustle of everyday life. Taking time off from jobs and other commitments in summer is a given for most of us, but let’s not take time off from growing in our faith. Here are five ways to nurture your faith in the summer.
- Attend Mass on Sundays. If you’re traveling, check out a local church. We have many beautiful Catholic churches throughout the world, and our Mass is universal. Use the website http://www.Masstimes.org to help find a church.
- Take some time to disconnect all your electronic devices and reconnect with God, family, friends, and neighbors. When you gather for picnics, reunions, or cookouts, don’t be afraid to talk about your faith if the opportunity presents itself. My sister and I have wonderful discussions about the things happening in our parishes. We also share ideas. We reflect on our faith and how good God has been to our family. Many parishes have summer festivals or picnics. This could be used as an opening to evolve into talking about faith matters.
- Read a good Christian book. Our parish library has many great books to check out and read. There are books written by Pope Francis and Mathew Kelly just to name a couple. You can also find good articles, reflections, and stories online at CatholicExchange.com.
- Talk to God. Be quiet and listen to God. Read some Scriptures and reflect. Walk our Prayer Garden and pray the rosary. The trail is peaceful and a great way to reflect on God’s creation. You could also pray the rosary when traveling in your vehicle to and from your vacation destination.
- Take a pilgrimage and visit a shrine or grotto. You don’t have to go far. These places offer respite and peace for our souls, and will strengthen and encourage us in our faith. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is close by in Champion. Walk the beautiful grounds, go through the Holy Door of Mercy, attend Mass, or light a votive candle. Rudolph Grotto Gardens is a beautiful grotto on the grounds of St. Philip’s Parish in central Wisconsin in the village of Rudolph. It was built in 1933 and includes five acres of trees, flowers, and paths. There are rock formations and shrines that provide a spiritual setting. Visit the St. Jude Chapel, grotto museum, and gift shop. Walk through the Wonder Cave which has 26 shrines. I visited the grotto many years ago with my parents. Now my sister and I are planning a trip to the grotto with our own families.
I hope these ideas give you suggestions on how you and your family can stay connected to God and enhance your faith journey. Enjoy what’s left of this summer.