Summer is just around the corner. Many of us are already making plans to go camping, head to the beach, or take an adventurous road trip.
No matter where we are going, or for how long, packing enough clothing for various kinds of weather is essential. And we can’t forget our toiletries, supplements, and other home-away-from-home necessities. Not to mention food, drinks, and kitchen gadgets, if we are preparing meals along the way or once we reach our destination.
Packing all the right material things for our summer trip is important, but what about packing the right spiritual things?
Packing a few key spiritual items will help us stay connected to God and prayer, no matter where the summer season takes us. Because we don’t want to take a vacation from Our Lord; rather we want to bring Him with us, wherever we go.
Below is a spiritual packing list for all our summer adventures:
Before We Go
Before jumping in the car or boarding the plane, take some time to spiritually prepare.
- Go to Confession before you leave
- Determine when and where you will attend Mass, if you are traveling over a Sunday
- Make part of your vacation a pilgrimage by visiting a shrine in the area where you are traveling
Pack a few sacramentals to ensure added blessing and protection along the way.
“A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin. The chief sacramental is the Sign of the Cross.” // The Baltimore Catechism
- Holy Water. Use holy water to bless yourself everyday on vacation. Also bless your vehicle and accommodations.
- Blessed Salt. Did you know an exorcism prayer is prayed by the priest, as he blesses salt? So, packing a little container of blessed salt can be powerful against any spiritual attack you may experience, while on vacation. Carry it in your purse or backpack. Sprinkle it around the perimeter of where you are staying for added spiritual protection.
- Rosary. My grandma first introduced me to the Rosary on a road trip. This is an excellent prayer to pray, as you begin each day of travel. I like to add the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of the Rosary.
Even when you are in an unfamiliar place, it is vital to maintain your daily prayer routine. This will help begin each day with joy and end each day with peace. So, whether you are in the car, in a tent, or in a condo, add a little time with the Lord to your itinerary each day of vacation.
Pack along any and all prayer aids you usually use, to ensure that prayer happens on vacation:
All of us love a good beach read, to leisurely enjoy on vacation, don’t we? How about selecting a faith-based novel to quench your thirst for a good story?
- Author Stephanie Landsem has a wonderful trilogy of Biblical fiction called The Living Water Series. Her newest novel, In a Far-Off Land, takes place in 1930s Hollywood, and is inspired by the Biblical account of the prodigal son.
- The Sword and Serpent Trilogy by Dr. Taylor Marshall takes us back to the time of the earliest Christians and Roman persecutions. Learn about the lives of St. George, St. Christopher, St. Nicholas, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and more (before they were saints) in this adventurous tale.
- Teens can explore a variety of summer reading options at Catholic Teen Books—from historical fiction to contemporary and dystopian.
- Kids of all ages will enjoy reading about the saints in the five volumes of Saints Chronicles.
Fun Activities for the Whole Family
To pass the time in the car or on a plane, bring along fun activities with a faith twist. Here are a few to consider:
Traveling can be a fun way to share our Catholic faith. Maybe it is even a good way to practice being more outwardly Catholic, as we most likely will not see the people we encounter ever again. We can do this subtly and simply.
- Affix a Catholic car decal to the back window
- Have the whole family wear Catholic T-shirts
- Decorate your suitcase or water bottle with fun Catholic stickers (A quick search on Etsy will lead you to many options.)
What do you bring on vacation to ensure that you stay grounded in your relationship with the Lord? Share your suggestions in the comments below.
This was originally published on the Blessed Is She blog.