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OSV News Showcase | June 30, 2023

“I need a vacation from taking a vacation!” I heard a mom say recently.

In today’s fast-paced world where productivity and efficiency reign supreme, the idea of summer vacation might not be so relaxing. Vacations require planning and packing (or at least planning, if you do a stay-cation), you’ve got to coordinate scheduling time off at work, and it’s just so darn hot out the hustle of doing anything feels an insurmountable challenge. Ugh.

But I’d say that true rest cannot be found in doing nothing.

Real leisure is a way of just ‘existing’ that nurtures wisdom, invites reflection and seeds peace and creativity to feed our souls. It’s hard to get into that state of mind, but in these moments we reconnect with ourselves and what matters to us, and engage in pursuits that go beyond the utilitarian valuing of ourselves for what we ‘do’ and accomplish. Less ‘doing’ more ‘being’, if that makes sense.

In a way, leisure is a sort of viewing yourself as God sees you: it is good that you exist and take joy in his creation. Slowing down to count bugs on the sidewalk with your child, enjoying a cold ice cream, reading a reflective book or poorly doing that cross stitch you got for Christmas are all ways to bring a modicum of leisure into our day-to-day, to sustain us.

Retreats, specifically, are designed to help us disconnect from the demands of life and reconnect with God and what truly matters, as Fr. Patrick Briscoe said in a column this week. Sundays are a weekly ‘mini-retreat’ for rest and relationship too, with God and with others.

This week the Supreme Court made a decision in a case where a man lost his job because he wanted to observe his Sunday Sabbath, which we wrote about. They also made decisions that affect affirmative action in higher education, student loan forgiveness and more. Be sure to look for these stories and others from OSV News in your local Catholic news source, and read a few via the links below.

Megan Marley

Digital Editor

Ukraine military doctors draw on faith and nature’s gifts to heal wounds of war

At a military hospital in western Ukraine, doctors are drawing on faith and the gifts of creation to heal the wounds of war. OSV News was granted access to the facility June 24 under strict conditions not to disclose its exact location, provide names of patients and staff or take photographs.

Biden vows to push Congress to codify Roe, while pro-lifers celebrate first anniversary of Dobbs

In a statement to mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, President Joe Biden said June 24 that his administration “will continue to protect access to reproductive health care and call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law once and for all.”

Ethicists voice concern over reprogramming human embryonic cells for research

“The fundamental ethical (and public) question here is whether these ’embryoids’ are living human embryonic organisms that cannot develop throughout all the gestational stages merely because of temporary technical limitations, or are they just a laboratory artifact that cannot be rightly termed an organism.”

‘Hope Stories’ podcast is ‘about lives,’ not ‘topics,’ says its host

In the first episode of the series, Sister Josephine sits down with friends and family to share stories of pain, struggle, consolation and joy that encourage even the most downhearted to participate in the hope of Jesus Christ more fully.

Church activists struggle against growing slavery-like labor in Brazil

The number of people working in slavery-like conditions in Brazil is the highest in 11 years. With 1,443 identified cases from Jan. 1 to June 14, the first half of 2023 already has the highest number of such occurrences in Brazil since 2012.

Caviezel: ‘Sound of Freedom’ a ‘weapon of mass instruction’ to end child trafficking

“Sound of Freedom” debuts in theaters July 4 with Jim Caviezel starring as Tim Ballard, who began his career at the CIA and then spent more than a decade as a special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security battling child exploitation.

After cyclone’s destruction, Peruvians face dengue epidemic

With more than 160,000 people infected by the disease and at least 287 deaths, Peru is experiencing one of the worst dengue epidemics in its history. It has become the country with the second highest number of cases in the Americas, after Brazil.

Wildfires have always occurred, but experts say warming climate is increasing severity

As the sky glowed a lurid orange from approaching wildfires, Stephen Morris knew what he had to do: pray — but not alone.

I’m not in recovery, I’m in rediscovery

COLUMN: They say that alcohol is a problem when it becomes a problem. Looking back, I can’t really pinpoint the time when it became my problem…But at some point I had invited Booze home from the bar, and he decided to move in.

Ukrainian Catholic University volunteers feed front-line soldiers with food for body and soul

College students often struggle in the kitchen, but at one Catholic university, they’re making food to help defend their country’s freedom.

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