“Be kindly affectioned to one another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10).
Summer is a time when many people pause their daily routines to spend time with their families. Family vacations are an annual tradition for so many of us in the summer. Some families spend a week at the beach, some take a cruise to explore exotic ports, some visit relatives a few states away, some fly to Europe to see the sights and soak up the culture, some go on a camping adventure in the mountains, and some just stay home and enjoy all that summer has to offer in their own backyard. Some family vacations include only mom, dad, and the kids, while some are bigger, extended family affairs with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins coming together.
Summer is a time to pause from the busy chaos that is everyday life. It’s a time to relax and truly enjoy life without just going through the motions as so many do from day to day. The days are longer, the warm weather allows us to spend more time outside, and the bright blue skies and green grass evoke happiness in the hearts of many. Most importantly, it’s a time to take care of your family by spending quality time together. Passing the time with your family members is a way to show them how much you love and care for them. Whether you journey to distant lands together, enjoy a day at the beach together, or just catch fireflies in your own backyard together, the important thing is that you are spending time together- taking care of each other.
It’s so important to take care of members of your own family, including your children, spouse, parents, siblings and those close to you. It’s equally important to take care of the family members who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are many who are not fortunate enough to even have a home in which to live in, let alone take a family vacation. Some of our brothers and sisters have no relatives, living alone with no one to look after them. We must do whatever we can, whether by donating essential supplies like food or clothing, by comforting those who are in need emotionally, or by visiting those who are all alone and providing them company.
Just as Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and his society did in Paris in the 1800s, today members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society work tirelessly to take care of everyone in God’s family. We must remember all our brothers and sisters, not just the ones with whom we share a home, a last name or a blood connection.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community, for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”