Summer time, Summer time, Summer time.
If you’re at all like me you both long for and simultaneously dread the summer months. I love summer for all of the wonderful, relaxing and joy-filled experiences it brings. But I dread summer because more often than not, it takes a toll on my spiritual life.
You see, I’m the type of person that thrives off of a routine and schedule. Keeping up a good and growing spiritual life is much easier for me while I’m at school because I am so blessed to have many many resources and opportunities at my finger tips, i.e. chapels open 24/7, daily mass 5 times a day, prayer groups, etc (#CUAPRIDE). When i’m home, though, and I do not have a set schedule every day I tend to become much more lazy with my prayer-life (the thought is often “oh I have plenty of time today, I’ll do it later”…then before ya know it, i’m asleep).
So, the question then is, how do I deal with this? and if you’re like me, how can you deal with this? Here are a few things i’ve started doing this summer that have been of help to me and hopefully, can be of help to you too!
1. I am a BIG lover of coffee and must have a cup first thing in the morning. I made the decision a few weeks ago that I cannot have my beloved morning cup of coffee until I say morning prayer (I use Shorter Christian Prayer). This has made a big impact on my life and helped me center myself in prayer at the beginning of every day. It really sets the tone for the rest of the day.
2. I love to read, and so during the summer I try to use that love to my my prayer life’s advantage. I am currently reading Life of the Beloved, and it’s great. It is really enlightening on how we as believers can grow in our faith in such a secular world. I try to take it slow, maybe a chapter per week, that way I can spend my week really reflecting on what that chapter said and how it can take root in my life.
I have also been praying with a book called Praying with Saint Catherine of Siena. It is a spiritual companion that has 15 meditations in it and in each meditation you reflect on a introductory bio of Saint Catherine, a portion of her writings, a scripture passage, and then a few reflection activities. It’s truly wonderful, and has been great for me. This publisher has tons of these with different saints too!
I know I said this in my last blog, but I recently read the Divergent Trilogy, and i would be amiss if I did not strongly encourage you to read it as well. This series has a profound message about selflessness that has honestly changed my life (maybe i’ll blog about that at some point).
3. Summer is the best time to nourish the relationships around you: you’re home with your family for the first time in months and you see the friends you no longer go to school with. I try to use this time to truly be present to these people whom I love. I want to build up these relationships, nourish them by conversation and deepen them by shared experiences. I encourage you to simply sit and talk with the loved ones in your life; simply be present to them. And pray that God reveals Himself through them and through you so that you can get to know God better by getting to know His children better.
These are three ways that I’ve attempted to keep up with my spiritual life and help it to grow! I hope these suggestions are helpful you all of you as well! You are all in my prayers this summer!