Life gets busy. Quickly. Several people have asked me the last few days, “Are you enjoying your summer?” They are full of concern and they want me to answer, “Yes, I am having a great time.” To tell you the truth, I don’t know where July went. Between weddings and funerals, Totus Tuus and Theology on Tap, life has not gotten to be slower. I don’t know where the time goes. A day begins and it is evening before I realize it. A week goes by and the next Sunday is already here. I recognize that this is still summer. The school is not open. Our religious education program hasn’t started up as yet. Most of our councils and organizations do not meet during this part of the year. And yet, life is busy.
Your lives are very busy. Those of you who are parents don’t find too much time for yourselves. Moms seem to run a regular limo service moving their kids from one activity to another. Life seems to be always a little hurried, harried. Every new technology that we acquire doesn’t make our life easier. It makes it more complicated. The time that we hope to save with the new device somehow slips through our fingers. Even summer seems rushed.
A couple of weeks ago the Sunday gospel reading spoke to this aspect of our lives. The disciples had come back after carrying out Jesus’ mission and they were very proud of themselves. They were reminiscing and recounting all their accomplishments. People were coming and going. Life had gotten so busy that they did not have time even to eat. That is when Jesus tells his disciples, “Come away to a lonely place and rest awhile!” I believe that those words are addressed also to all of us in our frenzied lives. Come away and rest! Take some time off to be quiet!
In our Christian spiritual tradition, aspirants to holiness are invited to make retreats. When I was a young seminarian and then a young priest, we participated in annual spiritual retreats that lasted five days. We had to spend time in silence and reflection. Even today every priest of the archdiocese is required to make an annual retreat. The Church knows that it is important to “retreat” to regain our perspective and to recoup our energy. I think that it is important for all of us make retreats on a daily basis.
Jesus Himself showed us a great example in this regard. His life was busy, very busy. Once His fame spread and people came to know of his healing power and preaching prowess, the crowds sought him out. Everywhere He went, people even tried to touch Him. He was so busy that He did not have time to eat. In fact the Gospel of Mark states that His family thought He was “losing His mind.” The same Lord who knew that the harvest was great, took time off to commune with His Father. He often retired to a deserted place, early in the morning to spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. In that quiet moment He found the energy to be available for the people.
I would like to invite all of us to follow the Master’s example. We need to retreat especially during the summer. I would like to suggest a few little ways you can “retreat” during the day:
In the midst of our hectic schedules, let us heed the voice of Jesus who beckons us. If we would be quiet, we can hear Him say: “Come to Me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest!
This Sunday I am driving to De Pere, WI, to make my spiritual retreat with the Norbertines at St Norbert’s. Please keep me in your prayers. I am going to thank God for you because through your generosity many wonderful capital projects will be completed in our parish this year. I for one will pray for each and every one of you. Please keep me in your prayers. I am so blessed to serve you.
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...