The Foundation of Your Summer Game Plan: Prayer and Sacraments
This summer, your life will need to be built on rock. When you build your life on a strong foundation, you can overcome any storm that comes your way. Jesus refers to this in the Gospel of Luke:
“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show what he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke again that house, and could not shake it because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:47 – 49).
Jesus is exclaiming to each one of us that we need to dig deep. We need a strong foundation if we want to be able to survive the storms that will come our way. This summer, we can grow tremendously if we are committed to building our Summer Game Plan. I want to help you dig deep by giving you some tips on the foundations of your plan.
When and where will you pray?
Fr. Jacques Philippe wrote, “Any moment is good for prayer. However, among many
possibilities, we should try to give the best time to prayer, when we are
relatively alert, not weighed down by pressing concerns, and free of
disturbance and repeated interruptions.”
To give our best time to God, we need to make a weekly plan. Prayer should be in a quiet place. If you can find an adoration chapel or a church, that would be best — but you can speak to God anywhere, like your bedroom or on a bus. The key is to pick a time and a place and stick to it.
One summer, I was having a tough time finding a place to
pray because the doors of the church were always locked when I showed up. So I
would just sit in the garden that was dedicated to Mary outside of the church
and pray there. Our commitment to prayer shows our love for Jesus. Our
perseverance in this commitment will help us to dig deep and build a strong
foundation this summer.
When and where will you go to Mass and confession?
What started to change my life in college was daily Mass and frequent confession. It was during these moments of nourishment and mercy that God started to reveal His plan for my life more fully. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Sacraments are ‘powers that come forth’ from the Body of Christ” (CCC 1116). You will need Mass and confession to have the power you need to live your Catholic faith this summer.
Jesus loves us very much and knows that we are sinners in need of nourishment and forgiveness as we strive to follow Him. In the Mass, we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. This is our nourishment, our “daily bread.” This summer is a great opportunity to try to go to Mass more than just on Sundays. In confession, we receive God’s mercy to begin again and God’s grace to overcome our sins. Pope Francis has talked about how he goes to confession every two weeks. If the Pope goes every two weeks, why can’t we?
Sundays are a great time to plan your week. If you need help finding places for Mass and confession, there are great resources like www.masstimes.org or the Catholic Mass Times Church Directory app. Put these times into your schedule — and then commit. It will be in these encounters with Jesus in the sacraments and your personal prayer that will help you build your house on a strong foundation this summer. This foundation will help you weather any storm that comes your way, and you will not be shaken.