I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We Had Our Moments

To quote Friday's blog post -->

"I am so blessed with friends in the local area who have willingly and generously given of their time to help out by giving witness talks and/or leading small groups throughout the day. They are the best, and I cannot even begin to thank them enough."

At the end of today's Confirmation retreat, this sentiment rings truer than ever.

To say the retreat went off without a hitch would probably be a lie. There were times when I scrambled to keep us on schedule, and there were other times when students were talking briefly during a witness talk. We ran out of soda pop, and most students didn't get to finish their icon projects.

But, overall, it was a beautiful, reflective day. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

As we were getting ready for the start of Mass, students noticed my twin sister, who immediately & automatically received celebrity status. Later, a student mentioned that we practically dressed the same way. To this, I noted that we had the same color shirt, but that was about where the similar clothing stopped, as we wore different colored pants, we boasted different styles of shoe, and we had different hair styles. But, I mean, he was right – we were practically the same…

In his homily, our priest gave three short accounts of Saints: Mother Cabrini, St. Clement, & St. Maximilian Kolbe. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about any of these Saints, so I was eager to hear about them. My favorite short story was that of St. Clement - Upon asking a group of gambling men for the winnings to give the orphans he was helping, he was directly spit at by one of the men. Instead of retaliating, he wiped the spit away and said, “That was for me, but now what about the money for my orphans?” In doing so, St. Clement made the man look like a fool in front of his friends, and they said, “You’re all right, Father,” and they gave him the money.

 During the first witness talk, my friend, Brendan, praised the students for the great questions they ask me in class. At that time, the students finally made the connection that Brendan is my “seminary friend” that I keep talking about in class as one of my main sources of information of Church teaching – when the students ask me questions I can’t answer, I usually email or call him, and he talks me through the topic, and then I relay the information back to the students. “We thought he was older,” one student mentioned. I could almost see actual lightbulbs going off over their heads. Priceless.

There were so many good moments today that it’s impossible to relay them all here. And, let’s face it, I likely can’t do them justice.

So, I’ll leave you with the poem that another friend read during his witness talk. I think it's a good way to end this evening and a solid idea to start this upcoming week -->

The Dash 
by Linda Ellis (copyright 1996)

I read of a man who stood to speak 
at the funeral of a friend. 
He referred to the dates on the tombstone 
from the beginning…to the end. 

He noted that first came the date of birth 
and spoke the following date with tears, 
but he said what mattered most of all 
was the dash between those years. 

For that dash represents all the time 
that they spent alive on earth. 
And now only those who loved them know 
what that little line is worth. 

For it matters not, how much we own, 
the cars…the house…the cash 
What matters is how we live and love 
and how we spend our dash. 

So, think about this long and hard. 
Are there things you’d like to change? 
For you never know how much time is left 
that can still be rearranged. 

If we could just slow down enough 
to consider what’s true and real 
and always try to understand 
​the way other people feel. 

And be less quick to anger 
and show appreciation more 
and love the people in our lives 
like we've never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect 
and more often wear a smile, 
remembering that this special dash 
might only last a little while. ​

So, when your eulogy is being read, 
with your life’s actions to rehash… 
would you be proud of the things they say 
about how you spent YOUR dash?

1 comment:

  1. Good job, coach! ;)

    Love that poem from Tim's talk!!