Summertime and the livin’s easy

July 3, 2024 at 10:57 a.m.
Getty images.
Getty images.

By Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Summer is a special time for family and friends by making time for them. No school! Picnics and barbecues; trips to the shore or mountains or wherever we enjoy some rest together; longer hours of daylight and star-filled nights; sitting outside, playing games, going to carnivals or summer concerts, taking long, leisurely walks or renewing healthy exercise to shed some winter pounds; gardening, picking strawberries or Jersey tomatoes and eating Jersey corn on the cob; doing lots of things or doing nothing in particular, summer is a time to slow down and realize how blessed we are by God, surrounded by those we love most who are truly gifts the Lord places in our lives.

Summer gives us an opportunity to pray without a lot of the usual distractions; to go to our parish church and celebrate God’s presence a little more often, maybe during the week; to read some good books — perhaps something spiritual — to help nourish and strengthen our souls; to engage in conversations we may not otherwise have time for; to tell stories, share memories and laugh with one another, something we may not do enough!

I have to believe that when God created the world and time and the seasons, he gave us summer as a “pause that refreshes,” again if we allow ourselves the time to pause. It is part of nature to soothe our human nature and ready ourselves for the long, busy months that follow.

This summer, take the time, whether long or intermittent, to renew and refresh yourselves. You need it. It is a gift from God. Show your gratitude for this wonderful, amazing gift by using it with your families and friends, for your families and friends ... for yourselves.

Don’t forget to get to confession, Mass and Holy Communion throughout the summer months. Life is always happier and better when we include the Lord Jesus in our plans.

May God bless you this summer with fun, relaxation, safety and the joy that renews your lives, your spirit and your faith.



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Summer is a special time for family and friends by making time for them. No school! Picnics and barbecues; trips to the shore or mountains or wherever we enjoy some rest together; longer hours of daylight and star-filled nights; sitting outside, playing games, going to carnivals or summer concerts, taking long, leisurely walks or renewing healthy exercise to shed some winter pounds; gardening, picking strawberries or Jersey tomatoes and eating Jersey corn on the cob; doing lots of things or doing nothing in particular, summer is a time to slow down and realize how blessed we are by God, surrounded by those we love most who are truly gifts the Lord places in our lives.

Summer gives us an opportunity to pray without a lot of the usual distractions; to go to our parish church and celebrate God’s presence a little more often, maybe during the week; to read some good books — perhaps something spiritual — to help nourish and strengthen our souls; to engage in conversations we may not otherwise have time for; to tell stories, share memories and laugh with one another, something we may not do enough!

I have to believe that when God created the world and time and the seasons, he gave us summer as a “pause that refreshes,” again if we allow ourselves the time to pause. It is part of nature to soothe our human nature and ready ourselves for the long, busy months that follow.

This summer, take the time, whether long or intermittent, to renew and refresh yourselves. You need it. It is a gift from God. Show your gratitude for this wonderful, amazing gift by using it with your families and friends, for your families and friends ... for yourselves.

Don’t forget to get to confession, Mass and Holy Communion throughout the summer months. Life is always happier and better when we include the Lord Jesus in our plans.

May God bless you this summer with fun, relaxation, safety and the joy that renews your lives, your spirit and your faith.


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