Guardian Angels News

Summer Vacation and Leisure

Posted by Deacon Michael Braun on

Every one of us spends plenty of time working, earning a living, and supporting our families. St John Paul II tells us that “Work is a good thing for man” because through work we transform nature and achieve fulfillment as humans. Many people might say that they like their work and enjoy working. But as summer approaches I think everyone looks forward to a summer vacation.

Vacation is defined as an extended period of leisure time used to do something for enjoyment and pleasure.

But during our vacation do we make time for God and really pursue authentic leisure? Or have we become like everyone else using our vacation time only for pleasure and amusement? As Catholic Christians we are called to be holy. Holy literally means “other than” or “different from” the world around us. 

Josef Pieper, a Catholic philosopher, wrote a book in 1952 called “Leisure, The Basis of Culture”.  He writes that “Leisure is a form of silence…only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear”. He also tells us that "In leisure man celebrates the end of his work by allowing his inner eye to dwell for a while upon the reality of Creation. He looks and he affirms: it is good.”

Josef Pieper is telling us that leisure is more than just “not working” or taking time for pleasure. Leisure is a celebration. It is relaxation and a chance to experience the world outside of our normal activities.

In the time spent in true leisure we become aware of what holds the world together. It is in leisure that we find the foundation for our worship of God. The worship of God allows us to find what is most worthy in our life. If we want to truly enjoy our leisure time, then we need to spend time in worship. Spending time in silence and prayerful meditation will allow us to appreciate the meaning of our work.

Sunday is the day blessed and made holy by God, set apart to be "the Lord's Day". Prayerfully attending Sunday Mass while we are on vacation is the highlight for our leisure and worship time. We cannot live out our faith unless we regularly attend Sunday Mass. The Eucharist is the worship we owe to God and the graces received at Mass will renew our life and our work.

If you need help finding a church and a time to attend Holy Mass while on vacation, there is a wonderful app for your phone called, Mass Times for Travel available from It is a simple app that is available for a free download.

See you at Mass.


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