Summer in the City

Ah, summer in the city: long days, hot and muggy days, days frantically looking for work or frantically feeling overwhelmed if you are working and trying to maintain some kind of semblance of a social life.  And God and Church, well … that’s kind of fallen by the wayside, right?  Why is this happening (if this is your first year)?  Or why does this always seem to happen (if you are in your second or higher year)?  And, is there anything I can do to change this?

Fortunately (and unfortunately), you are not alone.  The Fall and Winter has been good, you have felt God calling to you and have answered that call.  Maybe it is for the first time, or maybe it is for a deeper commitment.  I am close to God and how can I possibly change?  Then, you find yourself spending most of your time at home.  If you found or deepened your relationship at the TMC House, then – to be honest – home is not where you associate developing good Catholic habits.  There’s a reason why it took getting out of your house to change things, and give your life to Jesus.

Now you are back home.

All the time.

With friends connected with home, not Church.

The fellowship of other Catholics which you relied on to help prop up Catholic actions (not habits), not very present.

First off, if you had said yes to putting Jesus at the center of your life during the school year, and now wonder if you were just caught up in the moment, know this:  you weren’t just caught up in the moment when you said yes to Jesus.  You are caught up in the moment now.  Now, when you think summer has to go a certain way.  Now, when you feel the terrible dread and anxiety when you feel like you’re missing out on something summer has to offer.  You said ‘yes’ to Jesus because you glimpsed a life that gave you more than just what ‘the moment’ had to offer.

You are a golden stalk of wheat, stretching to the sun, but the weeds … Oh, the weeds!  Good thing you are a thinking, willing stalk of wheat!

So, is their hope?  What can you do even if it’s the middle of summer and things haven’t been going well?

Step one: go to Confession.  Tell someone you are going to Confession, email a priest and schedule a Confession, or best of all, contact one of those Catholic friends that have been missing you and arrange to hang out together … after Confession.  Invite them to Confession, too, and you start to remember that other life.  Why Confession?  Beyond, well, Absolution, one of the hidden benefits of Confession is that it nearly always clears the mind.  Thought becomes sharper, decisions clearer, resolutions easier.  Now, absolved, clean again, make a plan of new habits: going to Mass one more time a week, saying the Rosary when you are looking to fill time while taking the TTC to work, follow one program on the Hallow app.  First something small, doable – you have to build up the successes first.

Trust me, when I make a resolution to change 3verything, most of the time I end up changing nothing.  But when I change one small thing, make it a habit, and then change another, it gets easier.  That included who I spend my time with, who I give mental real estate to in my life.

Small steps.  Baby steps.  We might have put God in the center of our life, but we are still learning to be His children, the children of God.

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