The seasons are quickly moving on, and summer is behind us with the school year well on its way for most of the young ones.
Summer is always a good time to rest the mind and exercise body and soul. This summer, many camps gathered boys or girls in tents or around the fire pit. Camp leaders led them in adventures, healthy camaraderie, imaginative themes, games, and prayer. It is a way to help them grow out of the virtual network of modernity and plunge them back into reality, into the world of creation and of Revelation.
Along with the camp activities, many parishes organized picnics and festivities, connected perhaps with some uplifting parish event, like confirmations performed by a bishop or the blessing of a building. Not to forget the many pilgrimages which added a touch of reparation to the devout souls eager to reach a well-known shrine. These days of walking represent a faint image of our life-long pilgrimage to Heaven.
No doubt, many more activities have taken place in this past summer in various locations throughout the country. However, here is a little window into the lives of some happy faces in the hot summer days—from both well-known and rural parishes, like Green Bay, Wisconsin and El Paso, Texas, or the scenic parishes of Washington DC and even Honolulu, Hawaii.
Behold a faint representation of the universality of the Catholic Church...
Letter from the District Superior:
Back to school. Back to the grind. Summer is over and we are getting on with the autumn season and quickly moving towards a new year. Days pass and seasons move on; the years are spent and we often ask ourselves how we are faring in our daily duties—with our family responsibilities and with our own soul.
The pessimist will be quick to see that little progress has been made in the last year or even years. The optimist, on the other side of the spectrum, will be quick to see that things have not terribly regressed and that “we’re still heading in the right direction.” Yes, progress in most areas is inconspicuous, whereas regression and falls are usually quite noticeable. The oak tree grows so slowly that it will take a lifetime to see that it slowly acquired its optimum root system and majestic size. What is true of natural life is true of the supernatural life as well as. Unseen as it is, this invisible growth is yet the bread and butter, the quintessence of life, without which the strength of soul and body is not worth much.
Parents often pray that their younger children and teenagers may grow in health of body and mind. Their constant care is often met with daily challenges from their loved ones as they go through the maturing process. Teachers and religious often feel the same way when confronted with minds and wills which are reluctant to absorb the most needed diet before they face the world’s challenges.
It seems more glorious to go out fighting and throwing ourselves forcefully and glamorously into the fray. Yet, all that glitters is not gold. And, although daring heroism is more visible, the hidden path is not less heroic. It takes much strength and valor to face failures, sickness, and disappointment. There is nothing like trials to test our mettle, nothing like stressful times to show our true friends. And so, as we go on in life, through yet another academic year—as we set our face to meet the next battles, we need to pray to God and His Holy Mother for these discreet virtues of perseverance, of longanimity, of equanimity—so much the more precious as they are more hidden.
Fr. Jürgen Wegner