As The Tablet Sees It: Summertime and Living Your Faith

After celebrating our nation’s founding, we know the hazy, lazy days of summer cannot be far behind. 

This time of the year is known for relaxation, vacation, and enjoying the good life. 

In the Church we are in the Ordinary Time after celebrating the Easter miracle and Pentecost. 

But these are more than ordinary times when it comes to our faith. 

Summer travel affords us the opportunity to expand our faith. When planning your time away, get some information on where Sunday Mass is celebrated near your vacation spot. 

Look to see if there are parishes in our diocese celebrating Mass on a beach or in a park. If so, get there early to attend and spend the rest of your day relaxing. 

The living may be easy this time of year, but putting your faith to the side — even for a few short weeks — should not be an option. 

These days, even taking in a pro baseball game may be fraught with peril — as recently seen with the Los Angeles Dodgers honoring an anti-Catholic group — for many families do take in a game on a summer evening with their children. 

Living your faith in summer can be most rewarding. Helping your parish celebrate its summer festivals, whether it’s a street fair, or procession, or fundraising, brings you closer to Jesus as well as your fellow parishioners, where lasting friendships can be forged. 

In this edition of The Tablet, you’ll find Part One of our annual readers’ suggestions for your summer book buying. 

It gives you some ideas for both faith-filled and secular titles you can bring to the shore or the mountains. 

Remembering the words of Father William J. Byron, SJ, when speaking of summer almost a decade ago and how you may reflect on this pleasureable season: 

“Thank you, Lord, for summers past and summers yet to come. 

“Thanks for all the fun — fun with a purpose, like those great days at camp, and fun for nothing else but the fun of it — in the attic, the cellar, the playgrounds, the farms, the meadows, and the woods. Thanks for summer rest, romance, and reflection. 

“There were summer moments, Lord, when you came toward me, ‘walking on the waters,’ in a sense, as I felt your presence in my life in summers past and caught a glimpse of your plan for me. 

“I’ve deviated from the plan, I know, and I’m grateful for the midcourse corrections that your providence provided for me from time to time. 

“Thank you also for the rains of summer, Lord, and the growth-inducing summer sun that produced the summer crops and flowers and all things fresh. 

“Thanks for summer nights and summer sounds. For love songs and for everything that summer sings to me now by way of grateful thought and happy memories.” 

So let the fireworks begin, and let those airborne rockets ignite our faith and spark a rebirth of our Catholic beliefs.