So you’re graduating. Maybe from high school, maybe from a single year of high school, maybe into high school… maybe even from college. It’s an awesome transitional moment where anything is possible; the future is wide open, and your options are limitless.
Scary, isn’t it?
Whether you’re a few months away from college kicking off or you’re simply starting a break between school years, summer is here. It’s a time for vacations with your family (or maybe a vacation from your family – peace out, siblings). Summer months are the time when alarm clocks and schedules become optional, where calendars get thrown to the wind and the days of the week blend together. At least, that’s what summer can be.
More than anything, summer’s a break from the routine of the school year, which is great. That break can have a downside though, because most prayer lives are built on structure. It’s easy to let the carefree days of summer fly by without remembering to pray or hit the Sacraments – especially if your youth groups takes the summer off.
What keeps a prayer life alive when school’s out? It’s almost as simple as getting ready for a test: pre-planning and determination. Figure out when you pray: right when you get up? Afternoons? In your car? Set up a specific time and place you’re going to pray – even for five minutes – and stick to it. Maybe it’s whenever you drive to a friend’s house, or before you head out to start the day.
And take advantage of the sacraments. More than likely, your parish has a Saturday Mass and at least three on Sunday: there’s no excuse to be missing out on the Eucharist. Speaking of which… daily Mass, anyone? You don’t have to be at school, and if you can drive you can get yourself there. Maybe it’s not five days a week, but add a day of receiving the Body and Blood to your summer plans.
The last thing is to get to the confessional. Saturday afternoon, at least once a month, be there. Get there early and take some time to pray and reflect. A good clean Confession will do wonders for your spiritual life.
So what are you waiting for? The sun’s out and the weather’s warm… enjoy your summer!