Well, after the long period of Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi, we have returned to “Ordinary Time” in the Church liturgical calendar. The last Sunday we were in Ordinary Time was March 3, 2019. After a dreary month of May and not that great of a summer month of June thus far, it seems we will have a short summer. I guess we can pray for an “Indian Summer” for the fall.
Summer is traditionally a time for relaxation and recreation. Did you know that I was actually a recreation major when I was in college? I graduated in ’74 from Indiana State University with a BS degree in Recreation. My “specialty” was recreational therapy. Thus my first job out of college as the Activity Director at the Bensenville Home Society working with geriatric patients. But I could have been hired to work at a park district and likely become a community’s director of parks and recreation. But, God had a different plan, and here I am today. My college courses back then talked about the importance of recreation in our lives. You’ve heard the expression “all work and no play make Jack a very dull boy.” It’s true! We all need to take time out to be renewed and refreshed – even God took a day off! But so often today, recreation can even seem like work. How many of us have said after coming home from a vacation, that I need a vacation from the vacation! The word recreation means to re-create. Leisure time is good, and it’s perfectly fine to do absolutely nothing. While I like to bike and others like to golf, go to a baseball game or outdoor concerts, I sometimes just sit in one of those zero gravity chairs on the back deck of the rectory and do absolutely nothing but stare at the sky, using my imagination to “see” various things in cloud formations. I enjoy the breeze and listening to the wind-chimes while sipping a soda or glass of wine. We all need time to slow down, chill out, give our overactive brains a rest. This is what it means to recreate. I hope you find some time this summer to re-create your best self!!
With the summer months here, like last year, we experience people, often a family, standing before and after Masses on our sidewalks or in our parking lot, holdings a sign requesting money to help them purchase items they need for their family, tugging at your hearts. And of course, Jesus said “give to those who beg from you.” And you are certainly free to do that, but I would prefer that you tell them to call the parish office and through our St. Vincent de Paul Society, we will help them. I’ve politely asked them not to solicit from our parishioners, and they leave – but come back. So again, if you wish to give them something, you may do so, but I would prefer to help them through our St. Vincent de Paul Society.
As you know summer is a great time to travel. Friends of mine recently returned from France and shared the words on a sign of a church they visited (English translation): “When you enter this church it may be possible that you hear “the call of God”. However, it is unlikely that He will call you on your mobile. Thank you for turning off you phones. If you want to talk to God, enter, choose a quiet place and talk to Him. If you want to see Him, send Him a text while driving.”
Have a Blessed Summer!