As the school year winds down, school uniforms and backpacks will soon get banished to the backs of closets as bathing suits, suitcases and beach bags see the light of day once again. Kids aren’t the only ones longing for vacation–adults usually wait all year to take a much-needed break from their hectic schedules during the summer months. As you plan your vacation, you probably have some sort of packing list close by to make sure you don’t leave anything important behind. As you’re planning this summer’s getaway, don’t forget to add Jesus to your packing list! You read that correctly–don’t leave Jesus or your faith behind.
One thing you should never take a break from is your faith.
How many times have you left for vacation and vowed to leave your daily routine, to-do lists and responsibilities behind and just get away from it all? Lots, right? Going on a vacation is meant to be a time to recharge and relax your mind and body. One thing you should never take a break from is your faith. Imagine Jesus telling us, “I won’t be available during this week in the summer because I need to get away. I won’t be answering any prayers or listening to anyone who wants to confess their sins.” Jesus would never take a break from us, so why should we take a break from Him? There are many ways you can bring your faith along with you on your next getaway. Here are some suggestions.
Remember the Rosary
Bring your rosary beads along with you and say the rosary as a family during long road trips. Your children will likely groan and give you that “look” when you tell them to put their smartphones or tablets away to say the rosary. But it’s the perfect time to teach them the importance of prayer and to ask Jesus for his protection as your family travels. It’s also a great reminder that we shouldn’t pray only when we need something, but rather we should pray and give thanks often even when everything is great and we’re going on vacation.
You’ll probably be relying on your smartphone a lot while on vacation to help you find places to eat or important landmarks to visit. If you regularly attend Sunday mass, don’t skip mass just because you’re on vacation. Finding a Catholic Church and Sunday mass schedules is just as easy as finding the restaurant that serves the best burgers. The Catholic Directory App lets you search Catholic churches in the area you’ll be visiting for free. It gives you up-to-date mass times, directions and phone numbers.
Relaxing on a vacation usually involves reading. For some faith-based reading, bring along the My Daily Eucharist Book, with you to read while on the beach, lounging by the pool, or waiting for a connecting flight. This gem of a book includes daily readings and prayerful reflections, and includes excerpts from the Church Fathers, and the diaries of saints and popes. It also includes stories of apparitions and miracles, personal conversions and healings, and special revelations from Our Lord and Our Lady.
Catholic Tour Apps
If you’ll be vacationing in the Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia or New York then take a look at the Catholic Tour Apps. There is a specific app dedicated to each location. Developed by Pauline Press, these apps are your guide to places of interest that have ties to the Catholic faith. The app suggests sights to see that are of historical importance such as shrines, art galleries, museums and churches, and include audio guides and interactive maps.
Saint of the Day
Before leaving your hotel room in the morning or after having breakfast, read about the saint of the day with your children. The Book of Saints for Catholic Children, is a handy book that introduces the saints to children in a colorful and easy-to-understand format. At the end of the trip, each child can reveal who their favorite saint is.
St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers–especially motorists. Wear a St. Christopher medal, such as the St. Christopher Medal in Pewter with Prayer Card, and recite the St. Christopher prayer as you travel to each destination. You can also attach a St. Christopher visor clip such as the St. Christopher Visor Clip, SKU: AUBVC004 inside your car as a reminder to pray for St. Christopher’s intercession as you travel.
If you’ve never thought of bringing Jesus along with you on vacation, remember to bring Him along on this year’s summer vacation. Clearing your mind of all your work and home responsibilities is the perfect time to make room for Jesus and to focus on your faith. Share your ideas in the comments on other ways families can strengthen their faith while on vacation. Do you remember to bring Jesus with you on vacation? Do you attend Sunday mass when you’re away from home?