Friday, June 10, 2011

The Summer Slump

It's summer time! That beautiful time of the year when the sun stays out until 9pm, and we don't have to spend days stuck in a classroom. That time of year when we reconnect with friends who study abroad, have BBQs late into the night, and have drinks for "only a dollar, all summer." That time of year when we perhaps sleep in, laze around, go out at night, come home really late, fall into bed, fall asleep, and not pray.

Hold on a second, that didn't sound right.

I always find it harder to keep up a good prayer life (read: a good relationship with God) during summer - I love that God told us to keep the sabbath holy, in particular. If the commandment was instead "Thou shalt keep one of the seven days of the week holy, but I am going to let you decide which day that is," I'm sure that a lot of us would procrastinate all week. For some reason, we need a routine to keep us grounded and to remind us that we are supposed to do something. During the school year, school was obviously the main routine for me, and so prayer life mixed in rather seamlessly with that. But during the summer, we have the opportunity to not's as if the season beckons for us to just let ourselves go a little bit.

I think that because of the nature of summer, we simply forget that God is there for us. I think that more than any other time of the year, summer makes us feel that we can do it all on our own. No classes, projects, papers to slow us down. I think that a lot of us forget what our relationship to God is supposed to be, and what our Catholic faith is supposed to be: A response.

The Church, our prayers, our faith lives, our charity, humility, joy, peace, love...all of it is a response to Christ's death and resurrection. We are NOT the instigators in our relationship with God. It was He who formed us, saw us fall, and then died for us in order that we be set free again. He saved us - we do not save ourselves. We are simply called to respond. Instead of it being a time just to relax and hang out, why can't summer also be a season to really take the time to reflect upon what God has done, and pray, thanking Him?

You fought the fight in me
You chased me down and finished the race
I was blind but now I see
Jesus, you kept the faith in me

-Matt Maher, Empty and Beautiful

Jesus is the one to whom we are responding. He is constantly beckoning us, calling us, yearning for us to look at Him - regardless of the season. So respond. Kneel down in mass and adore Him in the Eucharist. Pray the Our Father and submit to the love of the Father. And, especially on this upcoming Pentecost Sunday, open your heart and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to grow in you, just as it did on the Apostles, all those years ago. Jesus is constantly fighting for us with love. As school ends for another beautiful summer, keep this in mind, and you'll find that the only suitable option is to respond with prayer, letting Jesus be the one to finish the race.

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