Was Your Vacation Good for Your Soul?

By Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, Ph.D. 

Dear friends and parishioners,

Vacations can be good and relaxing, but they may also become tiring and even exhausting if we allow ourselves to go too far.

What is even worse, vacations can become a source of spiritual harm and anguish if we place ourselves in settings and situations of sin and temptation. God wants us to be happy and joyful. He wants us to enjoy life as much as possible. He wants us to enjoy nature and the whole creation responsibly within the boundaries of His love and according to His Commandments. God does not want us to suffer! And, the greatest source of spiritual anguish and psychological pain is our sin, our separation from our Creator. God cares about us and does not want us to sin for our own good, for our own benefit.

Unfortunately, vacations, many a time, become a cause for sin, because not only do we relax our bodies, but we also relax our guard against the devil and his devices. The crafty one is tirelessly waiting for us to lower our spiritual defenses, to drop our guard, to abandon our prayer which creates a hedge around us, so that he can enter the house of our soul and loot, ravage and ruin whatever gifts and virtues we have built up over time with great labor and God’s Grace.

Vigilance and prudence are required as we watch over our soul and our salvation during this time of vacationing and relaxation. Just because we are on vacation it does not mean that we should abandon our spiritual efforts. It does not mean that we should stop praying and glorifying God. It does not mean that we should sleep in on Sunday morning, or go fishing, or swimming. Our vacation has to be as blessed and holy as the rest of the time of our life. Every day of our life has to be an opportunity to praise and honor God. Every moment of our life has to be connected to our source of comfort, wisdom and strength, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

My brothers and sisters, 

Let us enjoy what God has given us without disconnecting from Him. Let us guard our lives and souls to keep them holy as the Lord wants them to be.

As we return from our vacations, let us glorify God and examine our souls for anything that might have polluted them. Repentance and Confession are the means of cleansing as we approach the Holy Chalice again.

In Christ’s Love,

Fr. Panayiotis