Clergy View: Give time to God

Father Paul Strommer

Might you or your family be in need of an awakening and renewing of faith this summer? All of us can certainly benefit from the ample opportunities for relaxation these months of summer provide. Nonetheless, if we are not careful, our time of enjoying the heat of summer sometimes leads to a cooling off of our faith. The good thing is that our summer vacation does not need to become a vacation from God. Take a measure. Has your faith and the faith of your family been strengthened this summer or has it become too easily relaxed? What better time than now to begin anew? With the remainder of July and August ahead of us there is still plenty of time to give to God. I offer a few ideas:

Consider making a pilgrimage this summer

Have you and your family ever made a pilgrimage? During summer we go to water parks, the lake, Target Field, the county fair, etc. How about planning a pilgrimage? From the earliest days of Christianity, pilgrimages were made. A pilgrimage is simply going somewhere holy with the intention of growing closer to God. While the Holy Land and Rome are the most traditional and well-known pilgrimage sites, we need not go far. A family could make a trip to one of Minnesota’s many beautiful and historic churches. One idea would be to go to the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, which has been designated as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. Intentionally planning and going out of one’s way to visit a church or holy site is wonderful way to renew our faith.

Keep Sunday holy

Again the months of summer vacation need not be a vacation from God. If you or your family have a vacation planned this summer that includes a Sunday, go to church. Perhaps during previous summer vacations it has not been your practice to attend church while out of town. Going out of our way and beyond our comfort zone to attend church is a tremendous way to strengthen our faith. Consider the many Christians around the world that walk miles and miles to reach church or even more heroically put their life in harm’s way in order to attend church. Make it a point to keep Sunday holy by attending church every Sunday this summer.

Read a book of the Bible

Summer is a time many of us take for reading at least one good book. How about reading at least one book of the Bible? The New Testament is comprised of 27 books. Pick one and read it through.

I pray that God blesses our days of summer vacation, that they may be a vacation not from God and our faith, but for God and our faith.

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