“Let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season
we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
Summer is a time to slow down, relax, rest from our busy schedules, and renew ourselves with a vacation or a break way. All of us look forward to summertime. Children are thrilled that they are out of school, and adults enjoy the warm weather and recreational atmosphere.
One spiritual danger that tempts many people, however, is to think that the summer vacation implies taking a break from God and from worshipping our Lord on Sundays.
Of course, if we understand Sunday worship simply as a ‘duty’ or ‘obligation,’ we may rightly need a break. Yet if we understand our Faith as a loving relationship with God, if we see each Sunday as a special opportunity to encounter our Creator in an intimate and dynamic way, if we see coming to Church as a taste and an entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven and participation in the eternal and mystical feast of our Lord Jesus Christ, than we realize that neither summer nor any other season of the year is a time to stay away from the Church.
We don’t take a rest from God and His Church precisely because it is in Church where our souls find rest! We receive our spiritual nourishment to face a new week by coming to Church and receiving the most precious and life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We receive our moral grounding to guide us around the landmines of contemporary relativism
and the prevalent secular spirit when we hear the Good News of our Lord proclaimed and explained every Sunday.
And of course, we fill ourselves with the hope and joy of eternity when we listen to and offer the divine prayers of our Sacred Tradition, and then gather in Christian love and fellowship to stand before Almighty God in humility each “Day of the Lord,” each “Day of Resurrection!”
Summer is NOT a time to rest from God, our Faith and the Church and from our ongoing spiritual struggle. In fact, the exact opposite should occur. Since our busy schedules slow down a bit during the summer this is the ideal time to read a spiritually edifying and inspiring book, and make more effort in our spiritual disciplines.
Why don’t we use the restful time of our vacation to reflect upon our lives, and think about the direction we are presently taking? Why don’t we use this restful time to wrestle with the essential questions of life and ask ourselves what we are doing to prepare for eternity.
Life is so short and too many people allow life to pass by, simply focusing on the urgent and immediate needs, giving little time to the essential and everlasting.
Try to make this summer of 2019 a memorable one in a spiritual sense. Make it memorable, not for the vacation that you take, but for the decisions of life that you make. Sit with your spouse and talk about your future. Go out with your children and discuss truly eternal dreams.
Most importantly, check in with your Creator and ask Him what He desires from you. And then make a commitment to accept His invitation to enter into the path that leads to a most joyous and abundant life!
If you do this, then you will discover what our Lord meant when He said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Remember, true and lasting rest and renewal will not come form any unforgettable vacation. Only the Father and Creator of our bodies, minds and souls can offer us authentic and everlasting renewal and rest.
I wish you all a most blessed and spiritually renewing summer!
With much joy and love
in Jesus Christ our Lord,
Welcome to our Church
Holy Land Pilgrimage 2019
Our Orthodox Faith
One of the best-known prayers of the Orthodox Church speaks of the spirit of God being "present in all places and filling all things." This profound affirmation is basic to Orthodoxy's understanding of God and His relationship to the world. Learn more»