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Use this time of the year to reflect on God’s works

By Sister Anna Marie Reha, Provincial Councilor

The other day while out walking, I found myself humming a tune and putting in my own lyrics: “Yeah, it’s summertime. Oh, it’s sum-sum summertime, very best time of the year!” I had to stop and think where the tune came from. Gazebo by Kramer Lake at St. Mary of the Pines, Chatawa, Mississippi Oh, yeah! The song "Suppertime" from the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. It is sung by Snoopy when he is excited that Charlie Brown has brought out his supper.

Well, I am excited that it is summertime! Beckoned by the beauty of this time of year, I find myself reflecting again on the encyclical Laudato Si.

[W]e are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion. [220] The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. [233] Standing awestruck before a mountain, he or she cannot separate this experience from God, and perceives that the interior awe being lived has to be entrusted to the Lord … [234]

As Pope Francis reflects, “When we can see God reflected in all that exists, our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them.” So, during this summertime, take time to rest and enjoy all of creation. Just as Jesus had a regular pattern of active ministry, it was balanced with time away from the crowds, time spent either by himself or with his disciples. Jesus tells his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6.31). Jesus knew that sometimes we just need to take time away simply to rest, to relax, to rejuvenate our bodies and spirits, to refresh our minds for the work and ministry that lies ahead.

Jesus tries to teach us a rhythm – a balance between active ministry and quiet contemplation, a balance between business and rest, a balance between work and leisure. Our time is valuable, but sometimes the most productive way to spend our time is by not being outwardly productive. Sometimes the best way to spend our time is in rest and relaxation, knowing that this time of rest will then lead us back into the active world and the ministry that awaits us. Take time of quiet and rest, read a good book, take a slow, leisurely hike in the woods, in God’s creation, time to reconnect with ourselves and with God. And it is a great time to read, or reread, Laudato Si’, especially on this eve of its one-year anniversary.

So, during these lazy, hazy days of summer, let the beauty of God’s creation rejuvenate you. And let the melody of “sum-sum summertime” lift your spirit with joy.

Photo by Sister Mary Kay Gosch

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