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Monday, July 18, 2005

Vacation's Value

Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis

While on holiday in the Italian Alps, before yesterday's Angelus, Pope Benedict discussed the gift of his "summer pause:"

In the world in which we live, it is almost a necessity to be able to regain one's strength of body and spirit, especially for those who live in the city, where the conditions of life, often feverish, leave little room for silence, reflection and relaxed contact with nature.

Holidays are, moreover, days in which more time can be dedicated to prayer, reading and meditation on the profound meaning of life, in the peaceful context of one's family and loved ones.

Vacation time offers the unique opportunity to pause before the thought-provoking spectacles of nature, a wonderful "book" within reach of everyone, adults and children. In contact with nature, a person rediscovers his correct dimension, rediscovers himself as a creature, small but at the same time unique, with a "capacity for God" because interiorly he is open to the Infinite. Driven by his heartfelt urgent search for meaning, he perceives in the surrounding world the mark of goodness and Divine Providence and opens almost naturally to praise and prayer.
Unfortunately, this bears liitle resemblance to my own recent vacations, which rather than unique opportunities to pause have been feverish distractions of a sort; albethey in contact with nature, moments of silence and reflection have been fleeting. Hmmmm, maybe I should plan another vacation to see if I can't get it right.

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