In a very simple way, fall is a time of renewal. Renewed schedules, renewed commitments, renewed faith. Perhaps it is the lifelong routine of “back to school,” and preparing for class with new books, shoes, and backpacks. It brings a new routine, new friends, and teachers. It is a time of change, bringing with it a routine that is predictable and reliable.
This year especially, my family’s renewal was very welcomed after our summer fell into a period of August chaos. In my naivety, I planned our month to be “free-flowing,” without care, and a chance to embrace those dog days of summer. I envisioned days at the beach, impromptu ice cream shop visits, and blissful afternoons at the park. While we did enjoy some of this planned yet unscripted fun, the untold stories in our household looked more like toddler tantrums and childhood meltdowns.
We were out of town many weekends, and fell out of our typical weekend routine, including Sunday morning Mass at The Basilica. Upon reflection, it occurred to me that part of what we missed in our schedule was the routine of church, knowing that we would be at the same place at the same time each Sunday at 9:30 (or sometimes at 9:35…).
While I am aware we all have times of chaos, making a commitment to our faith in those times might ease our angst. This might include attending Mass, but also our prayer lives and community service. I have found that we receive so much when we prioritize our faith in our routine.
Fall is a beautiful time to consider our commitments. It’s a beautiful time for renewal; a time to be intentional with our gifts and our resources. Our Basilica Stewardship volunteers once outlined a way to incorporate financial stewardship into our lives. They suggested to:
- Give intentionally by developing a plan and then following through with it
- Give regularly by establishing a pattern
- Give generously by recognizing we will have enough because God provides for us
- Give first by sharing our first fruits and then living off the rest
- Give proportionally based on the blessings we have received
- Give cheerfully by recognizing the benefits our offerings provide the parish
I remember the drudgery of my parents as they convinced four children to “get to the car!” so we could get to church on time. Every Sunday, it was the same argument and the same lead feet pounding into the balcony ten minutes after the service began. So far, our girls have the gift of a church that is a highlight of the weekend! We are so blessed to have this place that is a “favorite” in all of our routines. And it is missed greatly when we’re absent.
This fall, I hope you will not only make The Basilica a part of your schedule, but we ask that you will also make giving of your resources part of your routine. It is your presence and support that continue to build this great community.