I’ll never forget what Fr. Mike told me and my friends that year we left for summer break.
It was the last week of my second year of college. Exams were wrapping up. My friends and I were anxious to cut loose and bask in the freedom of summer. But until then, we were coming to daily Mass at the college parish.
Fr. Mike knew we were about to leave the campus and the parish for summer work and travel. He wanted us to keep up with our faith. As far as he was concerned, the change of scenery and schedule didn’t let us off the hook.
So he looked at me and my friends from the pulpit and said, “Don’t take a vacation from your vocation.”
What did he mean? Of course he wasn’t telling us to spend hours upon hours praying every day. Summer was a time for us to visit family and friends, work a job and travel for fun. By “vocation,” he meant the universal call to holiness.
The universal call to holiness is one of my favorite Catholic teachings: Everybody, whether you’re a student, parent, son or daughter, teacher, fireman, janitor or CEO, is called to live a holy life.
That’s what the great St. Francis de Sales always came back to in his writings. He knew it wasn’t realistic for people like you and me to follow the daily prayer regimen of a monk or priest. But that didn’t mean you were off the hook from holiness, anymore more than my college friends and I were. As laypeople, our vocation is to make sure our faith informs and inspires everything we do – including how we spend our free time, treat our family and friends, and conduct ourselves on the job or on vacation.
“Don’t take a vacation from your vocation.” If St. Francis de Sales said holiness is for everyone, Fr. Mike reminded me that holiness is for everywhere and every time.
So what about your summer? How can you bring your Catholic faith into your work, free time and vacation?
Just remember, though, that we never get it perfect. St. Francis de Sales knew that. He had great advice for people who try to live a holy life and find themselves messing up a lot (basically, every one of us). You’ll find some of that advice in the book “Searching for and Maintaining Peace” in your box this month.
So, happy reading and happy summer! Have a blessed June, and see you next month.