Retreat and Rest this Summer


The summer months provide ample time for relaxation and retreat from the busyness of the year’s many tasks. Even Jesus recognized the need for rest. Witnessing the stress experienced by his followers, Jesus says to the apostles, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mk 631). Just as a body needs sleep in order to conserve energy, so too does the soul need space to recharge and find renewal. Our bodies are “obedient” to the demands of sleep. If one works exhaustingly, his body will eventually break down, whether he likes it or not. Our souls, too, must be obedient to the demands of their spiritual constitution.
As St. Augustine rightly observed, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” Time away from the distractions of the world allows man to contemplate those things “which are above,” and to rediscover the wonder of God’s majesty, whether in creation or in the recesses of one’s inner thoughts and prayers. That’s why it’s so important we find time to escape the cacophony of worldly noise, often accompanied by myriad tasks and engagements, which mightily distract us from deeper realities. We must find time for spiritual reading, moments of quiet recollection, and listening to the Word.
Whether one hikes a mountain or seats himself near the crashing waves of the sea, he will find good company. The Lord often escaped to the mountains or the sea. These natural wonders help cultivate an awareness of God’s presence and prove apt instruments for meaningful conversation with Him. Before the summer fades into the past, go to a deserted place, and rest awhile.


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