Ascension Leads to Looking at Summer Spiritual Experiences

man reading outdoors

As we celebrate the Lord’s Ascension, just about all of us have moved into the more peaceful period between the end of the religious education year and the start of Vacation Bible School. When I worked in a parish, I savored each and every one of those days, and as I was praying, I turned to St. Luke’s version of the Ascension story (Luke 24:50–53).

What struck me in those few verses is that Jesus’ last act on earth was to bless his disciples. Everything that needed to be said had been, and now he left them with his blessing.

They could have been scared, not knowing what would come next. That blessing led them to return to Jerusalem with joy, praising God.

In my prayer, I could see Jesus blessing all those who work so hard to bring the Good News to the young people of our parishes. It’s no easy task, but his blessing is enough to sustain us and fill us with joy. Well done, good and faithful servants; enjoy some rest.

As I prepare for some time of rest myself, I’m looking forward to catching up on my spiritual reading. I’ve decided to spend one day a week in silence throughout the summer. I’m going to use two of my favorite books on Ignatian spirituality, The Ignatian Workout by Tim Muldoon, and Margaret Silf’s Inner Compass. I’ve used them before on my silent retreats, and they’ve helped me better understand the power and simplicity of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Being extroverted, I used to avoid silence. It just made me too uncomfortable. Now, I look forward to being quiet and listening to what the Lord has to say. What a great way to spend the summer.

About Paul Gallagher 18 Articles
Paul Gallagher is an Educational Consultant at Loyola Press. Previously, he was the DRE at St. John Catholic Church in Westminster, MD, for over 10 years. Deeply rooted in Ignatian spirituality, Paul blogs about transformation and taking care of ourselves, body, mind, and spirit at
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