Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

What I Have Seen and Heard (June 21, 2007)

Published June 21, 2007

The mother of a family that I have come to know quite well and to love deeply declared the other evening that she was officially on the summer schedule! While I don’t believe for one moment that this meant that she would be any less busy, it was the authorized beginning of summer in that household. Without fanfare or trumpet blast, this family has now settled into a different regimen—so this mom has now declared. We all need a break from our ordinary routines, and summer is the time when that happens for most of us.

This household, like so many of yours, will not have any fewer activities—in fact they might even surpass their ordinary schedules. The number of meals will remain the same with hungry kids lining up for even more calories to satisfy the never-ending activities of adolescence. Yet there will be a slower pace for the members of this family, and hopefully there will be more time for them to enjoy each other’s worlds.

As school shuts down and the clocks are not set for such early hours of rising, as the sun comes up earlier and sets later, we can all enjoy a more leisurely pace. The persons that we are need “down time” to pause and to enjoy so many of God’s abundant graces and gifts.

Our archdiocesan schedule slows, and there are fewer official events to fill our moments. We settle into the “green season” of Ordinary Time. We listen each week to the slow unfolding of the Gospel stories, and we let the Word of God tell its mysterious truth in a measured pace. As the parables appear each Sunday, we come to know the wondrous truth that Christ came to reveal in simple fashion during the summer months.

At the same time, as I conclude the special annual events of this local Church with the Ordination of two fine new young priests next Saturday, we will settle into a time of gratitude for all that we have shared during this past year. Another successful academic year for our children, another Pascal journey that began on Ash Wednesday and ended with the reception of hundreds of new Catholics at Easter, the confirmation of thousands of adolescent believers, the beginning of a personal relationship with the Eucharistic Lord for thousands of youngsters, anniversaries of all types, another wonderful Eucharistic Congress—our largest ever—and countless joyful weddings celebrations that will signal new families in the making are signs of our good fortune and of God’s blessings upon this community of Faith in North Georgia. We have so much for which to be thankful!

As I shared dinner with this marvelous family, they were already excitedly planning the many activities of summer, and I marveled at how the summer schedule of this mom could possibly be any easier than her ordinary calendar, but according to her, summer was now officially underway and that obviously meant something to her and to her husband and children. May it be a wonderful time for all of them and for each one of you.

This will be my last column until August, but I want to assure you that I shall keep all of you very much in my prayers during the next six weeks and I hope that you will keep me in your prayers during this time of summer leisure and delight.

Summer is officially upon us—I’m glad this mom reminded me of this truth!