When life slows down a little in the summer, it allows us to strengthen our bonds of love with God, family and friends. As vacation time ends, we resolve to carry those strong bonds of love forward into the busyness that lies ahead.

“Particular wish: the humble glory of the Sisters: We have no bond but the bond of love, which is the bond of perfection, for love is as strong as death and the zeal of love is as firm as hell. How then could we have any bond stronger than the bond of love, which is the bond of perfection? The charity of Jesus Christ presses us. (2 Cor 5)” Spiritual Directory, Article 1

“The first thing for a disciple is to be with the Master, to listen to him and to learn from him. This is always true, and it is true at every moment of our lives… If the warmth of God, of his love, of his tenderness is not in our heart, then how can we, who are poor sinners, warm the hearts of others?” Pope Francis, 27 September 2013, International Congress on Catechesis.

“Let us cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of most urgent and heavy duties. And the more the mission calls you to go out to the margins of existence, let your heart be more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love.” Pope Francis, 7 July 2013, homily with Mass for Seminarians and Novices

In the Treatise on the Love of God, Book II, chapter 8, St. Francis de Sales reminds us:

“But he is not content with announcing thus publicly his extreme desire to be loved, so that every one may have a share in his sweet invitation, but he goes even from door to door, knocking and protesting, that ‘if any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Jn3:14) that is, he will testify all sorts of good will towards him… Behold this divine lover at the gate, he does not simply knock, but stands knocking. He calls the soul, ‘come, arise, make haste my love (Song 2:16) and puts his hand into the lock to try whether he can open it.”

The days that love ahead may be calm, beautiful days or they may be grey and stormy. The bonds of love that we have strengthened in our moments of prayer and solitude will carry us forward and allow us to meet the divine lover who beckons us to come to him.