Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live life with a Franciscan focus.
(An' one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

17 May 2011

On a vacation from God 

'On the Beach at Trouville' by Claude Monet (1870) We were on vacation last week, and while it wasn't anything grandiose, it was a big ball o' fun. Sipped margaritas while poolside (well, that was just me; Husband Mike doesn't like 'em), nibbled on snacky noms, ate at a place that has The Best Rotisserie Chicken Ev-ar, unwound in a hot tub, slept in, meandered leisurely about ... in other words, we had a faboo time.

Then yesterday, when browsing in my feed reader, the article, Should I relax my "Rule of Life" during the holidays? – Part I of II, jumped out and proceeded to soundly box my ears. This part in particular gave me a good thumpin' (emphasis added):

"Vacation is meant to provide necessary rest from and rejuvenation for the normal, meaningful, but draining activities of daily life; it is not meant to separate us from God or be [a] pause on our journey towards deeper communion with him. Vacation must never be an excuse to pray less ..."

Oh, sure, we had a wonderful week, but ...

Did I remember to pray daily, during the abundant free time I had?
No.

How about quick check-ins with God through the day?
Um ...

Noon Angelus, at least?
Completely slipped my mind.

So, no Lauds or Vespers, then?
Hey, you try packing the one volume Roman-Franciscan LOTH in an overnight bag! I needed that room for my swimsuit and flip-flops! (Note: I'm terrible about regularly praying the LOTH when not on vacation, so this was a further FAIL on my part.)

On the plus side: On the way to our destination, I did remember to heartily thank God for our being able to afford a vacation, and again remembered to say thanks to Him while floating about in the water. When we passed by a parish during our leisurely meandering, we popped in and prayed a bit before the tabernacle. I also knotted up some Rosaries and a prayer rope. And of course, we didn't miss Mass! (We were back in town by then anyway, but even if we hadn't been, that's what MassTimes.org is for!)

Still, my overall attitude was that of a kid barreling outta the building on the last day of school. Woohoo! See ya when I get back, God! I'll bring ya a snowglobe!

It's frustrating to admit that I'm still treating, to some degree, my relationship with Him as an obligation. And not only that, but one I'm willing to let slip a bit. Doubleplus wrong. ::sigh::

Looking forward to the second part of Father John's article. I've got some summer-school studyin' to do.

Update: Part II from Father John is now available.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Maria Johnson said...

"bring ya a sno-globe."

you kill me. mostly because you tapped into the truth for me, too. :)

17 May, 2011 18:31  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Got an iPhone/iPod touch? You can download a mobile app for LOH-on-the-go. It's a lifesaver and lets you leave the big book behind.

Off to read that linked article now!

17 May, 2011 18:44  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Oh, and for the record, I don't even HAVE a "Rule of Life." Guess that's something else I need to work on!

17 May, 2011 18:46  
Blogger Lisa, sfo said...

@Maria: LOL! And glad that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Well, OK, I shouldn't be glad, but y'know what I mean.

@Barb: After I hit the publish button, I thought, "If Barb chances to read this, she'll prolly mention the LOTH app as a space-saving solution!" :-D Believe me, if I had an iAnything, I'd use that splendid site/app on it! Ah, someday ... (I currently pop in there on my laptop when I, ahem, forget to pray Lauds before work.)

Oh, I also don't have a personal "Rule of Life" -- been procrastinating for quite awhile in crafting one. I know it'd help with observing our Rule, but I'm a lazy putz. ::rolls eyes at self::

17 May, 2011 19:03  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Guess we should both get busy on those Rules then. Right after we finish snow-globe shopping :)

17 May, 2011 19:46  
Anonymous Karen said...

Ummmm Lis, what is an LOH? Glad you had a good time lazinn about. When can I get that book on Book og Rev from ya?

17 May, 2011 22:57  
Blogger Lisa, sfo said...

@Barb: I'm always game for shoppin', LOL! :-D

@Karen: LOH (also abbreviated LOTH) = Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office. Secular Franciscans are obligated to participate in some form of liturgical prayer, with that being the preferred one. We only have to pray Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer), though. But we're not under penalty of sin -- like priests are -- to pray the LOTH.

If you wanna learn more about the LOTH, check out this spiffy site.

Oh, and I'll give you the Revelation book next time we see ya!

18 May, 2011 00:44  

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