Summer vacation is beloved by students and teachers of every age, with its late mornings, relaxing evenings, and long days of fun with friends and family. It should also be a time to deepen a person’s prayer life.
Reflecting on this topic, Pope Francis said in a Tweet last year that, “Vacations offer a time to rest and to restore the spirit, especially through a more quiet reading of the Gospels.”
For this aspect of summer vacation, a powerful intercessor is Saint Ignatius of Loyola. He is known as the patron saint of retreats and composed a short prayer that was originally intended for those on retreat. It is a fitting prayer to pray each day of summer vacation, reminding us of our need to remain open to the will of God.
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess, Thou hast given me: I surrender it all to Thee to be disposed of according to Thy will. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more. Amen.
Summer vacation is also a time of traveling and for that Saint Christopher is traditionally invoked. Here is a special prayer for his intercession, often called the, “Motorist’s Prayer.”
Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, That no one shall be hurt as I pass by. You gave life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company, from the evils of fire and all calamity. Teach me to use my car for others’ need; Nor miss through love of undue speed The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
With these two short prayers in your back pocket, you are sure to have a fruitful (and safe) summer vacation!