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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Just one step

One step. That's it! That's all we, as teachers, really have with our students - one step along the tremendous journeys of their lives.

For some students, that step is larger or smaller than others - and it depends on how long we've know them, how far we've helped them grow, how we've helped them listen for their future vocations...

But, again, it's just one step.

Tonight, the 8th graders will graduate. I didn't know this group until I came to my school 3 years ago. (And, really, I didn't get to know them as young people until this school year when I was blessed to be their Religion teacher.) I don't know much of their past, and I will likely not be with them as they journey forward towards their bright futures.

But that's okay. I've done what I can - it can never be enough...but that's exactly as it should be.

It all makes me think of the words of wisdom attributed to Oscar Romero -->

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. 
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. 

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. 
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. 
No statement says all that could be said. 
No prayer fully expresses our faith. 
No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness. 
No program accomplishes the Church's mission. 
No set of goals and objectives include everything. 

This is what we are about. 
We plant the seeds that one day will grow. 
We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise. 
We lay foundations that will need further development. 
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. 

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. 
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. 
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest. 
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. 

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. 
We are prophets of a future not our own.

"Teachers plant seeds that grow forever." (This bracelet was a gift from my Aunt Jill for Teacher Appreciation Day in May - the sentiment is truly fitting for a graduation night.)

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