Our Youth

Let Them Speak: “The Best Ways to Tap Into One’s Faith in the Summer”

By Juliana Estevez
Summertime is a great time to enjoy a few moments of relaxation. The season of summer is related to happiness, peacefulness and escaping the often tedious and tiresome work year. To some, the word “summer” may trigger the memory of a harmonious day at the beach. To others, summer may signify a joyful memory of watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Summer is truly a time to create new uplifting memories with loved ones. However, it can also be seen as a wonderful opportunity to tap into one’s faith. The season of summer allows for some free time.

During this time, we should not forget about how important it is to make a continuous effort to strengthen our relationship with God. There are various ways that an individual can express his or her faith during the summertime. One may even be surprised at how simple and fun expressing ones faithfulness can actually be!

One activity that can work to further your faith may be enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. We are often distracted from the true beauty of nature, especially when we face important daily tasks and responsibilities. Spending time outdoors can truly be a very spiritual and memorable experience. Perhaps one might enjoy going camping or even having a picnic. Just taking time out of one’s day to enjoy nature can allow any person to truly appreciate the extraordinary gift that is the world around us. This may even stimulate feelings of gratitude and admiration toward God.

An individual may also tap into his or her faith by simply going to church. One way that can really help with the true enjoyment of the Mass is by visiting different churches. Going to various churches around one’s neighborhood, or even around the world, is a great way to experience the Mass in a different light. The homilies of each Mass may deliver unique and important messages.

Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, where Estevez visited in April. (Photo Courtesy of Juliana Estevez)

It can also be fun to notice the varying architectural styles of each church. Visiting different churches can help you to slowly develop a new appreciation of the Mass. This experience, without a doubt, can encourage you to pursue your faith even further.

In addition, an individual may find his or her faith to be strengthened through service. Doing something good for your society will not only make you feel better about yourself, but it can brighten someone else’s day. Volunteering at a summer camp, homeless shelter or an elderly home are all great ways to complete service.

Small acts of kindness count for service as well! Holding the door for someone, donating spare change to charity and spreading a positive attitude are wonderful ways to show God’s light and love.

It is important to note that God’s creation also includes animals! This summer, we can help take care of the animals in our neighborhood. We may do this by making sure no animal is left out in the heat or in a hot car. We can also donate time or money to a local animal shelter. By helping God’s people and creation, you may feel closer to God. This is truly a remarkable way to strengthen and explore your faith!

It can be easy to make an effort to tap into your faith, just remember the following:

  • Consider inviting your loved ones to marvel at the beauty of the Mass in a different church.

  • Go outside and recognize the presence of God in nature.

  • Look for an opportunity to help those around you, including your four-legged friends!

  • Strive to see God not only in nature, but also in each other. It was once said, “God gave us eyes to see the beauty in nature, and hearts to see the beauty in each other.”

By appreciating and admiring the beauty of God’s creation and His people, one’s faith can truly become stronger this summer!

Juliana Estevez is a rising junior at St. Agnes Academic H.S., College Point.