St Ignatius and St Christopher can help us make the season fun and fruitful.
Summer vacation is beloved by students and teachers of every age, with its late mornings, relaxing evenings, and long days of fun with friends and family. It should also be a time to deepen a person’s prayer life.
Reflecting on this topic, Pope Francis said in a Tweet last year that, “Vacations offer a time to rest and to restore the spirit, especially through a more quiet reading of the Gospels.”
For this aspect of summer vacation, a powerful intercessor is Saint Ignatius of Loyola. He is known as the patron saint of retreats and composed a short prayer that was originally intended for those on retreat. It is a fitting prayer to pray each day of summer vacation, reminding us of our need to remain open to the will of God.
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess, Thou hast given me: I surrender it all to Thee to be disposed of according to Thy will. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more. Amen.
Summer vacation is also a time of traveling and for that Saint Christopher is traditionally invoked. Here is a special prayer for his intercession, often called the, “Motorist’s Prayer.”
Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, That no one shall be hurt as I pass by. You gave life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company, from the evils of fire and all calamity. Teach me to use my car for others’ need; Nor miss through love of undue speed The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
With these two short prayers in your back pocket, you are sure to have a fruitful (and safe) summer vacation!
What about you and me?
I don’t want to
forget you just because
I’m off my normal school-year routine.
Keep close to me, Lord,
and remind me that my relationship
with you should never take a break.
This summer will be
full of new experiences
for me and my friends:
new jobs, exciting mission trips,
and vacations to places
we’ve never been before.
Grow us, stretch us
through whatever we do,
and through wherever we go,
so that we’ll end the summer
just a little more like you.
I can’t believe it!
One more year down and
I’m so ready for a break.
If I had to take one more test,
if I had to eat one more whatever-that-is
from the school cafeteria,
I know I’d scream
real loud. Thank you for
getting me through another year.
Thank you for times to stay up late—
and for times to sleep in!
Thank you for a chance
to just take it easy for a while,
and to get some much-needed rest.
Thank you for summer vacation!
I like everything about summer except
my parents. It’s not that I don’t love them.
I really do.
It’s just that they always
have something for me to do.
“Clean the bathroom … get the groceries.”
Dad says, “Don’t let your mind rot,
read a book!”
Give me patience with them.
(And give them patience with me!)
And remind me that
I’ll still get to do a lot of things
I want to do—
even with all the stuff they toss my way.
Copyright © 2004 by the author or Christianity Today/Campus Life magazine.
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Summer is here. And with it comes opportunities for more family vacations, outdoor café lunches with friends, picnics, walks in the park, ballgames, and bike rides.
There are still those things that don’t go away…
Work, laundry, deadlines, work, meetings, volunteer commitments, work, and house chores. (Did I say work?)
Please help me create the space and time to use these summer months to focus on things that matter most. Activities that reconnect me to the people most important to me. Taking time to re-energize my spirit and feed my hungry soul.
Family time…Dreaming…God talks.
Walks around the lake.
Leaving work early to watch the ballgame.
Eating fresh fruit on the front steps.
Walking around the block and feeling the sun on my face.
Thank you for being interested in my life, my priorities, and my relationships. Please show me how to be the parent, the child, the sibling, the significant other, the friend you want me to be this summer. Help me to be present.