Academically, we are nearing the end of the school year. Graduating students will be leaving and moving on to the next stage of their pilgrimage through life. Current high school seniors will graduate and join our community next year. Students who will transfer to or from DePaul over the summer are also preparing for their transition, as are potential adult students looking to advance their education and career development.
A large percentage of people have been vaccinated, or soon will be, and so many of us are preparing to regularly go back to our offices after more than a year of working from home.
In the Upper Midwest we are moving from spring to summer as the weather warms and the days become longer. In Chicago, we might even revel in the fact that we had an actual spring. Some years ago, I heard on the radio, “spring will fall on a Thursday this year!”
In the Christian liturgical tradition, the season of Easter has just ended. After celebrating Easter for 50 days Ordinary Time resumes.
We are certainly in the midst of many different transitions. But that doesn’t need to be a reason for us to fret, to become stressed out, to try to do too much, or to hurry the process.
In writing about one of the greatest transitions we face, at the end of our lives, Vincent de Paul once said, “In fact, experience has shown us that those who have gone to heaven most likely advanced the time of entering their new life by endangering their lives by too much hard work.”1 In other words, Vincent suggests that while entering heaven is certainly a goal for many people, we shouldn’t try to rush the process!
Our lives may be in a state of turmoil in going through so many different transitions at once—and it can be overwhelming—but the more we remain calm, the easier these transitions will be. So, before the school year begins again in earnest, do what you can to take some time this summer to relax, enjoy the warm weather, and just be. This will enable you to be more present and attentive to your life and the work before you. The transitions you are moving through will occur on their own time.
What kinds of transitions are you experiencing right now, both personally and professionally?
How will you make time for yourself in the coming weeks and months? How will you remain calm and grounded and avoid becoming too overwhelmed?
What are your practices of self-care when the busy-ness of life takes over?
1 Letter 2948, To François Feydin, In Richelieu, 24 August 1659, CCD, 8:103-04.
Reflection by: Matt Merkt, Chaplain for Liturgy/Music, Catholic Campus Ministry, Division of Mission and Ministry