Friday, March 16, 2012

A Day of Reconciliation


Today, we celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation in connection with Adoration to continue our Lenten preparation for Easter.  The day began with a whole school examination of conscience with scripture, song, and a Monk Potter at his wheel.  It was a very nice reflection based on Jeremiah and God the Potter of our lives.  Then each theology class came to chapel for Confession and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Whew, I spent a whole day in the chapel with our young men.  After they genuflected their way in, Campus Minister Monk would introduce the location of the Confessor Monks and invite the students to prayer.  This was my cue to go to the prie dieu with a profound bow and my Rosary beads; after a five minutes or so, I continued my Rosary as I strolled along the chapel among my students.

I must admit; I was quite proud (and their parents should be too).  Most of the students participated in Confession, and quite a few of the boys used the Stations of the Cross handouts, litanies, or lectio guides to keep themselves focused during Adoration.  What really warmed my heart was their instinct to follow a lead.  After I left the prie dieu, Students came up to the kneeler, bowed deeply, and knelt down to pray for a few minutes before the Blessed Sacrament.  Light poured down on them from the upper windows of the Chapel; it made even the orneriest Child of God look like an angel.  Every now and then one of the kids would drift off asleep and need a little poke by their pew neighbor.  There were a few gigglers too...only God knows what the boys found funny, but I believe our God has a good sense of humor and chuckled along with them.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lessons for the Teacher

School as been keeping my nose to the grindstone and Lent has kept my candle lit.  Last week we were gifted with a SPRING BREAK WEEK!  A whole 7 days of time off...I took advantage of the time to visit my family and Sisters.  I enjoyed sleeping in, being a bit pampered by my mom, and simply spending time with my Sisters.  On the other hand, 24 of our junior and senior students with another 10 teacher & parent chaperones traveled to Mexico!

They packed for their Mexican Spring Break with old blue jeans, work gloves, mats & sleeping bags to soften the cement floor, and soccer balls.  These 24 high school students spent their break working between two impoverish villages on a mountainside.  They built two cement block houses, re-roofed several small houses with corrugated tin, and formed simple brick stoves.  They played soccer, duck-duck-goose, and other games with the children.  They traveled with 3 priests...and the people happily joined them for Mass every evening.  And they ate their weight in tortiallas, rice, and beans.

Yesterday, I asked those who had participated to share their experiences with their classmates.  These were some of the amazing lessons they taught us, lessons I couldn't have created...
* We should be grateful for everything we have.  'Cause everything we have is like a miracle for them.
* I thought I knew what 'poor' looked like, but I wasn't ready for how little they had.
* We should be happy, we've been blessed.
* I felt very close to Our Mother Mary while there.  We were surrounded by home shrines to Our Lady
   of Guadalupe and their devotion to her...she was very present to me while I was there.
* I want to find ways to give back here [in home city] too and not just wait for our trip next year.
* The saddest part was sharing our little toys with the kids and trying to make it 'fair and equal'
   between the kids, we just didn't have enough.