Summertime, for most of us, means taking a break from our daily routine and having a chance to do something fun that we can’t otherwise do during the rest of the year. Unfortunately, for some people, this is also a time when they allow themselves to slack off a little in the faith department. Want to combat the spiritual sloth that can threaten you this summer? Here are five fun (and Catholic) things you can try.
1. Have a star viewing party, Catholic style
Did you know that a priest is responsible for the theory of the Big Bang? Did you know that there have been 6 Catholic astronauts who have worked on Apollo Expeditions? Furthermore, did you know that NASA allegedly tried to hush up the fact that Buzz Aldrin took the Holy Eucharist with him on the historic first lunar landing? With the 50th anniversary of the landing coming up this summer, perhaps you can have a star party with other fellow Catholics. You can learn more about these amazing Catholics and then go out and look out at the beauty that God has blessed us with, which can only be seen at nighttime. You can even wait until the feast of St. Lawrence to watch the “tears of St. Lawrence” meteor shower.
2. Go on a road trip to a local national shrine, cathedral, or California Mission
Do you live anywhere near any national shrines, cathedral, and/or California Missions? Consider making a pilgrimage to it! Grab your favorite snacks, fill up the gas tank, and ask a couple of your friends to join you. Have a family of your own? This would be a good learning and bonding experience with your children. Are you on a tight budget? Do you want to make it more of an adventure? Consider taking only public transit if it’s within an hour of you or take a train ride to your destination if it’s in your own state.
3. Try to do all the Corporal Works of Mercy in a single summer.
Sometimes we get too caught up in our own world and our own problems. Since most of us have a little more free time during the summertime, why not try to see if you can do all Corporal Works of Mercy at least once in a single summer? Here’s a suggestion if you want to make it more fruitful and fulfilling: don’t tell anyone. Try to do these works anonymously or with as quietly as possible.
4. Volunteer at your parish’s summer camp
Not all parishes have summer camps but if yours does, consider helping them out. If you feel called to marriage, you can look at this as excellent practice since you’ll be helping to look after children for all ages and temperaments. If you have children of your own, it’s a good way to build lasting memories that they could look back on when they’re all grown up.
5. Set up a Frassati Society group at your parish.
Do you want to find other like-minded young Catholics in your area but don’t know where to start? Consider helping set up a Frassati Society if there isn’t one in your area. You can speak to a trusted priest about becoming a spiritual adviser for the group and start planning where to meet and what activities to do.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, I pray that it’s a memorable Christ-centered one. Just don’t forget your sunscreen, and Rosary!