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Shifting my Dislike of August and September

By Jennifer Gregory Miller ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 25, 2023 | In The Liturgical Year

I don’t actually “hate” August and September, but they are my least favorite months of the year. Even with summer days, family gatherings, widely varied feast days, these months herald change and preparation and return to routine, and I dread them.

Lately my thoughts have been in such a swirl with all the happenings this summer. I began a year-long Montessori (AMI) training for Primary (3-6 age), and also began the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Formation Leader program while I still am maintaining Catholic Culture’s Liturgical Year section and teaching two days a week. Summer brought on the extras of preparing our oldest son for a semester in Austria with Franciscan University of Steubenville, preparing our youngest son for his sophomore year of high school, and making my plans for the school year and help set up a new combined atrium environment at my school.

I haven’t been writing much as I have been finding it difficult to keep a cohesive thought tying all this to living the Liturgical Year. Even though everything gets accomplished, I have a sense of uneasiness and sometimes a bit of anxiousness at times. The thought that keeps running in my mind besides “I dislike August and September” is “Help!”.

Perhaps that August/September dread is a good reminder that I am not accomplishing any of this on my own, but I need to bring my “requests” and needs willingly to Jesus and Mary and say “I can’t do this. I give it to you.” But this giving and submitting isn’t just a verbal act. I realize I have to slow down and really give it over in my heart, to personalize this relationship with Jesus and Mary and not just use words and check the box.

Actually the Liturgical Year has been coming into play more than I realized. The liturgy and feasts are my backdrop but also reminders to come and sit and be refreshed. The Transfiguration, the Assumption, the Queenship of Mary, the Nativity of Mary, the Naming of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Exaltation of the Cross…these feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady fall right during the months of transitions. What a gift!

We are about halfway through Our Lady’s Thirty Day’s, which began on the Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15. This is not officially noted on the Liturgical Calendar, but a Germanic tradition from the observation that from August 15 to September 15 there are 5 feast days of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I wrote about this a few times, the last one being in 2021, Our Lady’s Thirty Days for Summer Malaise.

These August and September Marian feasts include her family celebrations (birth and naming), carrying the sorrows, and celebrating the great gifts of Assumption and Queenship, as everyone’s queen and mother. Our Lady is reaching out to us with open arms.

So instead of a negative view of August and September, I have been having a little shift in thought. I need to remember that I’m do not need to carry the burden of these months alone. The gift of these feast days especially of Our Lady invites me to walk along with her and entrust my concerns to her.

Jennifer Gregory Miller is a wife, mother, homemaker, CGS catechist, and Montessori teacher. Specializing in living the liturgical year, or liturgical living, she is the primary developer of CatholicCulture.org’s liturgical year section. See full bio.

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