"The 'Trap' of Summer - Staying Faithful"
By Rachel Contos
year I had the most spiritually rewarding Pascha of my life! Honestly,
I felt ready to experience the Resurrection of Christ in a way I never
have before. I attribute this readiness to OCF’s College Conference,
the people I met there, joining my Church choir, fasting, and taking
more time to pray. I still have lots to work on, and I always will, but
I never want to have Pascha without this feeling again.
day after Easter, I completed my finals and the school year is now
over. I am worried that my feeling of pure joy from Pascha may soon
fade. Now that summer has started, there are no more services five
minutes away, someone won’t be picking me up for Church, there isn’t
summer choir practice, College Conference is a long way off, and fasting
at home is hard because I am not just cooking for myself. It’s as if
Pascha came and said, “Here is the Joy of God,” but now I am home not
carrying on with any of the things I did at school! What is going to
happen to me this summer – will I be able to stay faithful?
college students, it is so easy to fall into the “trap” of summer.
There is no OCF group to remind us of services and feasts and no
service-based clubs to be involved with. And while summer jobs may take
up 30-40 hours of our weeks, we still have more time left to our own
devices. I find myself with little motivation to get up early for
Church anymore. Now that I am on break, it seems like I cannot possibly
get enough sleep!
We must remind ourselves that summer is not a
break from God. It is a break from school, stress, nagging professors,
and the impending doom of paying off debt. Part of being in college is
coming home during break and part of being Orthodox is maintaining the
knowledge that the Church is also our home. Summer does not mean we get
a break from needing God in our lives.
So for those of us, like me, who lose our Faith motivation in the summer, here are some important things to remember:
• Church does indeed go on in the summer, and it is important to be there.
• If you want something fun and free to do with friends, volunteer!
• Find small quiet moments throughout the day to say a prayer.
• Take your excuses of laziness and spin them into a way of showing love for God.
Listen to God and follow the path that leads to Him. Even though it’s
summer, the love of Christ should still shine through your works.
Keep God in your hearts, don’t lose motivation, and have a blessed summer. Christ is Risen!
Submitted by Rachel Contos, President, Orthodox Christian
Fellowship at Marquette University