It seems like, based on what I see in vacation getaway commercials, that people tend to leave their morality at home when they go away. This can be true of singles as well as married. And let’s not forget that Spring Break is coming up, for the college crowd. And also don’t forget the motto of Las Vegas (“What happens in Vegas…”) and even one of the hotels there (“Just the right amount of wrong”).
Going on vacation soon, I was thinking about all the ways people forget their faith when they go on vacation. People tend to not go to Mass while having fun at Disneyland or on a cruise. They also sometimes look for new forms of sexual encounters while away from home. Some people do things on vacation that they would never consider doing at home-drugs, drinking and eating to excess, and so on.
I do the same thing, though I never forget my faith and the moral values it gives me. I’m a vacation scuba diver when we can get to a place with coral reefs to explore. Some do things like hang gliding or some other extreme sport. These are ok for a thrill, I know. I have one wish that I hope to attain some day. I want to take the helicopter tour of the island of Kauai. Why? Because I think it’s the lushest, greenest place in North America (maybe the exception of Alaska in the summer), and much of the island is unvisitable by land. What’s stopping me? I weigh too much, by about 10 lbs, to go without having a penalty to pay for weight. It’s one of my motivations for working out-to get down to a weight where I can do that.
The above are healthy activities. And it’s not bad to reconnect with your spouse, to have a good meal or two, to buy lasting souvenirs of your trip. Just keep in mind-God doesn’t vacation, and your parish still needs to operate while you’re not there. So one thing when planning your itinerary-find out where you can go to Mass. There’s very few places where you cannot find a Catholic Church. There’s one a mile from Disney World, there’s one a block from the Strip in Las Vegas, there’s Catholic Churches on all the Hawaiian Islands (Blessed Fr. Damien, remember, was a Catholic Priest).
Just try to keep the material pleasures to the less-than-sinful level. In fact, you may want to go to Reconciliation after vacation, especially if you miss Mass.
Also, be careful where you do your death-defying winged-suit jump…