[COLUMN] Summer: A time of renewal

Greetings! It’s summertime! I hope you’re enjoying it!

It’s that time to go on vacation with family and friends, watch some good movies, relax in the backyard, read a fascinating book, tend the garden, go to the beach, or walk around the neighborhood to enjoy feeling the sunny weather and seeing the beautiful plants and trees around us. For some of us, it’s that opportune time to fulfill an overdue project, such as cleaning up the garage or purging one’s closet and house of old clothes and furniture to give them away to a charitable organization.

Whatever you do or plan to do this summer, may it nourish your soul and relax your body and spirit.  For that’s God’s desire for each of us: to take time to care for our health in all aspects: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Summer is also a time to renew or solidify relationships with one’s family and friends by spending quality time together. Nothing is more precious than feeling the affection and care of our loved ones and receiving their attention. So, summer might be a time for some long-awaited heart-to-heart talk with someone you love and care about.

Indeed, summer is that time to “sharpen the saw,” which means cultivating a balanced program of self-renewal to create growth and change in one’s life and relationships. And so you may take time to go on retreat, travel by yourself for soul-searching, or just read a book.

More importantly, I hope it’s that time to renew your relationship with God and your faith in him.    It might be the best thing you can do this summer. So, going on a pilgrimage, joining a prayer group, or simply attending church on weekdays and doing some devotional exercises such as reading and meditating on the Scriptures might be a way towards this spiritual renewal.

Summer, then, is God’s gift to us. Let’s not allow it to pass without savoring its sunny weather and the pleasures it brings. Let it speak to us of the need for transformation and growth, not just for our personal lives but also for the world that cries for peace and unity among us.

As we learn from the Scripture Readings this Sunday (July 16), like God’s word that accomplishes its purpose when it is spoken and heard, let our enjoyment of life and God’s nature be that agent that would transform our hearts and minds for a grateful heart, a healthy body, soul, family, and community and a more peaceful world and humane society.

Blessings to you all!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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