Enjoying fruits of labor and blessing
Ahh, summertime! A time of well-deserved rest comes with a welcome change of scenery and in-season fruits. While making our plans, let’s not forget about our prayer lives. A change in schedule and eagerness to “get away from it all” might cause us to lose touch with our spiritual needs. We mustn’t let our prayer life go on vacation.
So that family prayer continues to happen throughout summertime, we have to carve out time for it. Many inconveniences pop up in the heart of the family, and God knows we can’t drop to our knees to pray while taking care of pressing family needs. He also knows we are a work in progress, too. When our planned prayer time gets sabotaged or rearranged, we should try again to make it work. If we have done our best, He will surely reward us for persevering, and for training our children and grandchildren to develop committed relationships with Him.
Summer is an ideal time to add prayer.
During this more relaxed season, let’s add “prayer” to our “must-do” lists and teach the kids to do the same, by establishing daily prayer habits. Getting on our knees to face each new day, giving everything over to the Lord will help us begin with the proper disposition. It only takes a few minutes.
No family should be too busy to pray together. Coming together to offer our hearts to God is indispensable and will be etched on our children’s and grandchildren’s hearts forever. We can easily slip meaningful prayer into mealtimes to keep our family focused on prayer throughout the day. Pope St. John Paul II emphasized the importance of family prayer frequently. He said, “Prayer increases the strength and spiritual unity of the family, helping the family to partake of God’s own “strength” (Gratissimam Sane, Letter to Families, 1994).
When planning family trips, let’s consider including shrines, basilicas and holy places. It’s a win-win situation! We can utilize the many Catholic magazines, newspapers and websites that highlight interesting places for pilgrimages and visits. Attempting to attain that healthy balance of spiritual nourishment for our family and relaxation and entertainment is certainly doable.
Summer travel affords us many opportunities for prayer. The rosary can be said in common in our vehicle en route to a vacation spot or while traveling to the beach, library, park or picnic area for day trips. Each child can voice a prayer of petition about something that is close to his heart, as well as offer prayers of thanksgiving for God’s gifts — including family time together.
Don’t miss family time in the kitchen, too. Why not make my Summer Double Berry Cobbler together? Make an extra pan and gift it to someone who might need a lift. God bless you! L
DONNA-MARIE COOPER O’BOYLE is a wife, mother, grandmother and EWTN TV host. She is an award-winning author of more than two dozen books, including Feeding Your Family’s Soul: Dinner Table Spirituality. She is the founder of the “Feeding the Body and Soul Movement.” More at DonnaCooperOBoyle.com.
Summer Double Berry Cobbler
4 cups mixed blackberries and blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch (for thickening)
3 Tbsp sugar (I skip this)
1 cup all purpose flour (I use brown rice flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk (or milk substitute. I use French vanilla yogurt)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash berries and mix with sugar (or honey), lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, cornstarch. Place in pie dish or 4-qt baking dish. Let rest for 30 minutes. Next, make biscuit dough topping. Whisk together the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar or honey, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. In a “well” in center, stir in the milk and beaten egg to moisten dough. Drop by large spoonfuls on top of berries. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F or until browned and berry mixture is bubbling. Amazingly delicious when served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!