Sanctify Your Summer - Bring Prayer to Every Adventure

Sanctify Your Summer - Bring Prayer to Every Adventure


As we embark upon July and hit the summer stride that includes baseball games, outdoor excursions, camping, fishing and maybe even a trip to your favorite vacation spot, have you ever wondered why we fill out time with these pursuits? 

What is it about destinations such as the beach or the mountains that are so popular for vacation? 

Do they provide a different perspective and beauty compared to what we encounter daily? 

Are we really seeking beauty to help fulfill a yearning for renewal and energy?

What is it about physical challenge and exertion that is so appealing? 

In my experience, these and other summertime activities feel like rituals of renewal. In the spiritual sense, the word renewal would likely conjure thoughts of Baptism or the restorative nature of Confession. However, many of us experience a renewal of energy, passion, purpose and deepening of relationships during the normal rhythms of summertime. 

To me, it speaks to the fact that we are both body and spirit. We experience the goodness of God not only in our participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but also in the daily experiences of life in the natural world around us. As we embark on all that summer has to offer, let's keep in mind that renewal in body is a vain pursuit without renewal in the spirit as well. 

'Sanctify Your Summer'

As we explore new landscapes, make lasting memories, and enjoy the sun-kissed days, remember that prayer must be a constant companion, which brings a sense of peace and sanctity to all our experiences.  We recall the wisdom handed down to us from sacred scripture 

But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)

 “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place to pray.” (Mark 1:35)  

So, let's explore 8 creative and engaging ways to weave prayer into our summer escapades.

  1. Pebble Prayers: Each family member picks a pebble during a beach or nature outing. At the end of the day, share a prayer or intention linked to your pebble, and then place them together in a ‘prayer jar’.

  2. Storytime Saints: Each night, tell a story about a saint. It's a wonderful way to connect with our spiritual heroes, learn about their lives, and draw inspiration for our own faith journey.

  3. Prayer Card Keepsake: Use your prayer cards as keepsakes to bookmark your favorite summer reads. Each time you open the book, take a moment to say a small prayer.

  4. Create a Prayer Space: Take along a home altar that can be placed in any setting. There is nothing more inspiring in our search for renewal than the visual cue of our Lord’s sacrifice while on the cross. 

  5. Altar Art: Invite your children to decorate the space around your portable altar with natural elements like flowers, leaves, or pebbles. This engages them in setting up a sacred space and could be a fun outdoor activity.

  6. Rosary Relay: While on a long car journey, make a rosary relay. Each family member prays one decade and then passes the pocket rosary on to the next person.

  7. Altar Sunrise/Sunset: Make a special effort to set up your altar for sunrise or sunset prayers. The backdrop of a rising or setting sun can add an extra layer of beauty to your prayer time.

  8. Beach Rosary: Use shells or stones to create a giant rosary on the beach. Each family member can say a prayer as they add their part to the rosary.

Reflection Questions

  1. Which idea resonates with you the most and why?
  2. How can you use your surroundings to inspire and deepen your prayer life during vacation?
  3. What are some ways you can make your summer vacation a spiritual pilgrimage?

Our summer vacation is an open canvas, waiting to be filled with unforgettable memories and experiences. As we take on the "Sanctify Your Summer" challenge, let's paint this canvas not just with colors of fun and relaxation, but also with shades of prayer and spirituality.

Here's to a summer that nourishes our body, refreshes our mind, and revives our spirit!

Reading next

Heart of Devotion: Timeless Faith in a Changing World
Decoding the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Essential Reading for the 21st Century Catholic Man