A Spiritual Vacation

As we deal with threatening fires, smoky skies, the impact of the Covid Delta Variant, the inability to travel over these last several months, the re-opening of our schools with masking requirements and red/blue political gridlock, we are all tired, confused, and under a great amount of stress. We are also seeking solace as we look for answers and relief in these unprecedented times.
Recent reports from such diverse organizations such as the CDC, WHO, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, AARP and media outlets Fox News and CNN are focusing on the short and long term mental health issues that can arise while we deal with the effects of the pandemic.
I am not a medical professional, so if there are any questions about Covid stress and mental health in your own personal or family life, please talk to your trusted doctor about these things.
However, as a priest and fellow traveler on a common spiritual journey, I can tell you that we have many companions along the road which can bring peace into our lives. Today we can turn to one of the finest of all our spiritual guides: Mary, as we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption.
If anyone knew stress it was Mary. She was a young woman, pregnant by the Holy Spirit, on the verge of divorce, wondering about her special child and in the end giving him over to God to die on the Cross. Her faith and trust helped her stay on the path to redemption, celebrating her final gift from God, free from sin, her immediate place in Heaven at the side of her Son.
The Assumption reminds us to put away the things of earth and concentrate on the things of heaven. So, let’s pack our bags with prayer for a spiritual vacation away from the stress of these difficult times. And perhaps, we too, may have a much needed glimpse of heaven on earth.