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Summer Reset: Weekly Message for 06/19/2018
Dear Digital Pilgrim,
The more relaxed schedule of the summer months usually gives me a chance to slow down, reset, and re-energize. Hopefully this summer will be no exception.
Like any family, my consecrated community life has its own challenges, especially at this time of the year as we welcome new faces while saying goodbye to those sent to missionary posts around the world. After a busy year, we look forward to a completely unplugged vacation — no work-related emails, phone calls, or activities. We want that chance to connect, enjoy, and get to know each other better.
How intriguing that to enjoy vacation and seek rest from our labors, we need to ‘vacate’ from our daily lives and disengage from all that is familiar! As we change the pace of our schedule or pack up to get away, we should take a moment to stop and ask this simple question, “What is it that we are trying to regain?”
Josef Pieper in his reflections on “Happiness and Contemplation” would suggest that;
“Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy. And what of contemplation? Its very premise is freedom from the fetters of workaday busyness. Moreover, it itself actualizes this freedom by virtue of being intuition.”
Thus his conclusion gives us an answer and purpose for what we should be seeking during these days of summer.
“The ultimate meaning of the active life is to make possible the happiness of contemplation.”
That the real purpose of vacation is to reawaken our capacity to contemplate. But how does one go about reclaiming this capacity for contemplation? One means is the simple act of spiritual reading every day, even for just a few minutes.
So here are a few summer reading suggestions, along with Study Circle ideas, that you may find helpful.
- Summer Meditations
In this book Fr. Bartunek brings out the spiritual meaning behind some of the characteristics of the natural season of Summer. With scriptural references, personal anecdotes and offering mini spiritual exercises you can do to allow the virtue or the value to sink deeper into your mind and heart. The spiritual values treated in Summer Meditations include playfulness, modesty, endurance, hospitality, and eight more.
- The Church Rejuvenates
This Study Circle Guide is designed to assist in the study of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s May 15th, 2016, Letter (entitled “Iuvenescit Ecclesia”, The Church Rejuvenates) to the Bishops of the Catholic Church regarding the relationship between hierarchical and charismatic gifts in the life and the mission of the Church. This letter is of special interest to Regnum Christi members, since the Regnum Christi Movement would qualify as one of the charismatic gifts to which the letter refers. Access this Study Circle Guide here.
- A Quiet Place: How Daily Prayer Can Change Your Life
If you desire a deeper connection with God or have even the slightest suspicion that something is missing in your spiritual life, then now is the time to enrich and strengthen your faith with A Quiet Place. In this small book, Fr. Bartunek gives you the tools you need to build a relationship with God that leads to lasting joy and peace amidst the constant demands of your everyday life. Get ready to encounter God in a more profound way than ever before—and see for yourself how prayer can change your life forever.
You can explore all of our Study Circle Guides by clicking on the Study Circle Guides tab on our homepage.
Make this year’s “beach book” the daily practice of increasing your capacity for contemplation, by feeding your soul with spiritual food. Our Study Circle Guides, Retreat Guides, and books are created to help you do just that.
We are so grateful for this growing digital community, and for the chance to serve you with our formation resources, and for your support of our efforts to keep going and growing.
Please keep sending us your feedback, including thoughts and ideas about the kind of topics and resources you would like us to provide in the coming years. We want everything we do to be a real help for your pursuit of holiness, happiness, and fruitfulness.
Wishing you a peace-filled and restful summer vacation to reset making time for contemplation each day!
Thank you and God bless you!
With the assurance of my prayers,