Summer 2024: Movements and Pauses

Br. Michael ofm


As we draw into the season of summer, where are you at? How is your heart? What are you leaning into or away from? Who is accompanying you?


Summer means different things to each one of us. For some it is a time extended rest, for others it is the busiest time of the year, for others it is a time for moving and new beginnings. Although we enjoy longer days and usually more pleasant weather, summer is a regular cycle of life, however I believe it offers a gift as well. The gift is to ask the questions and to then to dwell in them. To take a moment in the quiet of a summer morning or during a thunderstorm or while working in the garden to ask the questions and to listen for how God is weaving the answer into our life. When we listen, we should be drawn into hearing deeply and noticing the movements of our heart.



Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17.7-8


Where are you at?

This is an invitation to not only look at where we are at physically, but to note where we are in our relationship with God. Over the course of the first half of this year where have we met God and where has God met us? We need to know where we are so we can appreciate this place and where we have come from or to seek where need to go next both in our living and in our spiritual life. No matter where we are at this summer, let us put some markers on the road map of life which truly matter.


Spend a bit more time reading and contemplating scripture.

Notice the message of creation wherever the roads lead this summer.


A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you;

and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

– Ezekiel 36.26

How is your heart?

Our heart takes a lot of hits. It deals with a lot each day and tries to adjust to heartache and deep joys. To ask how the heart is, is to purposefully pause and pay attention. To hear how our heart is speaking truth into our lives is a needed part of a good journey. Does our heart need to be revived this summer? Allow the sacred space for this nourishment to happen, even if it is only briefly.


Spend time visiting and praying at a pilgrimage site.

Pause with your hands over your heart and breathe in life around you.



Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

– Hebrews 13.8

What are you leaning into or away from?

We all have habits and patterns which shape our living. Sometimes they lead us to life, at other times they need to be re-evaluated. Needing to lean into change is not always easy but leads to new life. Leaning into regular routines can allow us to appreciate the work which is ours to do. Leaning away from destructive patterns or empty relationships invites us to make space for what is truly important. What steps do you need to make in either direction?


Go for a drive down a road less traveled, take time to pause on the drive.

Create a gratitude list.



Jesus said, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28.20

Who is accompanying you?

When we stop and consider our life, it is amazing how many people we encounter and share the journey with. Do those who support us and create space for us know we value them? Summer is a good opportunity to connect with these people and celebrate the bonds of life. We never journey alone; our God ensured this truth would be woven into our living with the gift of Jesus.


Gather loved ones around a campfire.

Send a text/card or make a phone call to someone you need to connect with.



No matter how our summer unfolds. It comes with invitations. Let us take the time to respond to these invitations among the ones for a barbeque, a pool visit, a road trip or an ice cream.



You who journey with us

in all the seasons of our life,

we ask your blessings upon this summer,

wherever we go or wherever we stay

may we know you are with us.

You sent your Son,

the true light of the world,

may the gift of summer light

awaken in us the gift of his light in our life.

You gift us with your Holy Spirit,

may we respond to the Spirit’s promptings

as we ask questions, as we pause,

as come and go, as we do and be,

while we give thanks for this summer.



Photo Credit:

David Trinks

Aaron Burden