"During these quiet days of summer, let us thank the Lord for the many blessings we have received and draw ever closer to him in prayer..." That was part of Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus address this week.
Quiet days of summer? Whose summer would he be talking about? As I read his words, I had a 5-year-old crying because she couldn't decide on which video to watch and a 10-year-old crying because she was having trouble learning French through a free online program. Mind you, she doesn't need to learn French. She's doing it for fun. In the midst of this, I was preparing for an interview for a story I'm writing. And I was minus one child, who's at Boy Scout camp this week, so things were actually calmer than usual.
Our summer is a lot of things. Quiet isn't one of them.
Speaking in reference to the Gospel reading in which Jesus tells his disciples, "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be," the pope told pilgrims visiting his summer residence at Castel Gondolfo that Christians must "live a more intense life, full of good works."
Well, we've got the "intense" part down pat. Now if only we could find the quiet time for prayer and good works. Perhaps I need a summer residence to retreat to now and then.
I have a feeling that if Pope Benedict spent one afternoon in our house with my children his message would not focus on "these quiet days of summer" but on simply trying to remain sane in the midst of the circus we call home. Then he would run screaming back to Castel Gondolfo, thankful that no one there is crying over French lessons or video time or dinner.
Seriously, I do love the pope's message about trying to find time during summer vacation to reconnect with God. We make time for family, for fun outings, for sitting by the beach in the sun, but often times we forget to carve out some extra time to thank our Creator for our many blessings. And I do have many blessings, noisy blessings, but blessings nonetheless.
So today, if your days are as crazy as mine, try to find five minutes of quiet, even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom to get it, and listen for the whisper of the Spirit. If you can hear it over the crying.