Dude. Be Nice. Prayer.

Morning Prayer: Dude. Be Nice. Prayer.
October 30, 2014
Prayer by Champ ’16

Take a moment right now to clear things off your desk and think about a time when someone did something nice for you. (Pause for thinking) A simple “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” or even a “how are you doing?” goes a long way to make someone’s day from being a bad one to an even better one. On Monday, we talked about a phrase for this week… “Dude, Be Nice.” This phrase refers to all the random acts of kindness that we may do, but not even realize. These three words can someone’s mind before they decide to act. So, today I encourage everyone to keep these three words in mind before you do anything. You never know when you might do a random act of kindness that may change someone’s day or have something nice done to you that can change your own day.

Let us pray
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for all the small things that we have done in our daily lives. Help us to keep kindness within our hearts. Help us to have a great day. Amen.

Mary Seat of Wisdom. Pray for Us.

Slow Yourself Down…

Morning Prayer: Slow Down and Take Time to Pray
October 28, 2014
Prayer by Ryan ’15

Wake up
Get dressed
Go to school
After school Activity
Homework
Sleep
Repeat
Our life is like clockwork… most of what we do is an organized pattern; and I am a daily violator of this. My days are booked so tight it is like my own happiness isn’t a priority. When our lives demand that it comes first and we HAVE to get our regime done, we lose whatever time we have left for God. Too many times have I, and I’m sure others, said “I am going to pray more” and when the time comes to pray we are so tired from the day we forget… and we remember the next day and say “Im going to tonight for sure”… and then it happens again, and again, and again. We let the temporary get in the way of what is better for us in the long term. The stresses of school and our social lives overwhelm us and dominate most of what we say and do. The irony is… we KNOW this is bad for us, we KNOW our grades don’t reflect who we are as people, we KNOW we shouldn’t stress too much about the D we got on a test…. Yet we do. Life is a speeding car we just can’t get out of. There is a disconnect today that was caused by the bigger, better, and faster mentality we all signed up for. Just a 5 meager minute time out at one point in the day can save us from ourselves. Taking a small amount of time can strengthen the relationship we stray away from with God. And if you forget, that’s okay, the mere decision to try is a step out of the craziness.

Let us pray.

Dear God,
Thank you for all your everlasting love you give us on a daily basis. Please give us the strength to pull ourselves out from the chaos of the world and devote time to the relationship we treasure so much.

Amen

Mary seat of wisdom, Pray for us.

Character Counts

Morning Prayer: Character Counts
October 16, 2014
Prayer by Mr. Dan Walls, Counseling Department

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a frail old man. As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water. He asked, “Old man, why do you spend so much energy on something that is a complete waste of your time?”

The old man patiently explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. “But there must be thousands of beached and millions of starfish!” exclaimed the young man. “How can you make any difference?”

The old man listened politely.  Then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the ocean past the breaking waves – “It made a difference for that one.”

I’ve always liked this story, but not for the obvious lesson that everyone can make a difference. During my life and career I have always been impressed with people who do great things with no expectation and no desire for recognition. It’s ironic that my entire working career has been in college admissions and college counseling….a process that encourages and even rewards high school seniors for bragging about all the wonderful things they have accomplished. The old man on the beach was not rescuing starfish to impress anyone.

Every day there are many at Marist who do acts of selfless service. They have no expectation or desire for recognition. As my Dad told me, “Character is what you do when nobody is looking”

Let us pray,

Our heavenly father, we know that in our moments of selfless service we glorify you. Give us strength and courage to do the right thing and to show great character when nobody is looking. I also ask your blessing this morning for our friend, colleague and teacher, Janet Claussen, as she battles her health challenge. We ask this in your son Jesus’ name.  Amen

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Mission Trip Awareness Week

Morning Prayer: Mission Trips at Marist
October 7, 2014
Prayer by Beth ’15

In the lives that we lead, in our busy Marist existences, it’s hard to take time for ourselves, let alone other people. It’s hard to remember to breathe beneath the pressures we put upon ourselves and those that others place upon us.
Well, here you go. Take a moment and breathe. This won’t take long.

This week, we’re talking about mission trips at Marist. It’s an integral part of being a student here- it’s even required to graduate. But integral doesn’t always mean welcome.

Maybe service to you isn’t pleasant; it’s another weight that you don’t want to carry from class to class, another check mark at the end of your assignments list. Maybe that’s all that service is to you.

To the people you’re serving, though, service is life changing. It can be life giving. Service can be world changing. Service can be joy.

To me, it’s a little town in the middle of Kentucky called Betsey Layne. It’s a camp called Catholic Heart; it’s beautiful people living not-so-beautiful lives. That’s where I, and all 500 campers who visit over the summer- that’s where we come in.

We’re there to make their lives a little more beautiful. We’re there to fix their homes and relationships, to build and to bring together. We’re there to bring them joy. And if it happens to make my life a little more beautiful in the process, then I’m lucky. And if not, it doesn’t matter.

I am not what matters in service. Joy is what matters in service- but not mine.

It’s about their joy. It’s all about making their lives better.

I’m going to close with a quote by Khalil Gibran as my prayer. I hope that you consider his words, as you decide about your own upcoming service:

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy.
I woke and I saw that life is all service.
I served and I saw that service is joy.”

May we, too, find that joy, even if it is not for ourselves.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Thank you for this Day

Morning Prayer: Thank you for this Day
October 2, 2014
Prayer by Devin ’15

Dear God,

Thank you for this day.

We say this almost instinctually for any prayer we say from the heart. We might be buying some time so that we can think of our next line. We hear it so much that a prayer almost feels incomplete without it, and I think it is. Those 5 words contain so much more than the weather or the fact that we barely got to school on time this morning. It is thanking God for being alive; waking up and having the gift to breathe, profess, and love. Each and every day is a new opportunity for us to grow and learn, not just in the Marist classrooms, but also in the classroom of life. We learn more about ourselves, others, and especially God, and with that knowledge, we can be better at being ourselves. So take this day as new. One that you can make to be your own. One where every breath you take will thank God for his many blessings.

So, thank you, God, for this day.

Amen

Mary Seat of Wisdom: Pray for Us

Living in the Present

Morning Prayer: Living in the Present
October 1, 2014
Prayer by Matt ’15

We’ve all been told to live in the present. But what does that really mean, and why should I do it?

One person who truly lived in the present was my Nana. She always gave you one hundred percent of her attention, no matter how busy she was. She didn’t multitask while she was talking to you; rather, she was fully present in the conversation. You could, without a doubt, tell that she cared about you and what you had to say. She just loved spending time with you. Nana did these things because she made it a priority to love with all her heart. She did them because she knew that the present is the most important time that we have, and that we must always cherish it.

We too are called to give our family, friends, students, teachers, and strangers our full and undivided attention. We too are called to love our neighbors even more than ourselves. We are all called by God to live fully and completely in the present.

I’d like to close with a prayer that my Nana used to pray each day. It reflects her beliefs, her faith in God, and her secrets to living a loving and gracious life. It goes like this:

Good Morning God,

You are ushering in another day
Untouched and freshly new,
So here I come to ask you God
If you’ll renew me too?

Forgive the many errors,
That I made yesterday, and
Let me try again dear God,
To walk closer in Thy way.

But Father, I am well aware
I can’t make it on my own.
So take my hand and hold it tight
For I can’t walk alone.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom,

Pray for us.

Care for God’s Creation

Morning Prayer: Care for God’s Creation
September 25, 2014
Prayer by Chandler ’15 and Joanna ’15

Today’s theme for the fourth day of digital citizenship week focuses on e-waste and care for God’s creation. We are called, as Christians, to be good stewards of the Earth.

Throughout the year, our Marist Community participates in various projects promoting care for God’s creation. Today our focus for digital citizenship week is on responsible disposal of electronic waste. Did you know that E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste?
The Environmental Club hopes you were able to participate in our mini-e-waste drive today, but if you forgot any items at home, we will be holding a week long drive in November which you can take advantage of. In the past three years, Marist has recycled over 38,000 pounds of electronics waste through our drives!!!! We are lucky to have this opportunity at Marist to dispose of our e-waste responsibly.

In the following quote, Pope Francis reminds us of our responsibility as Christians to be good stewards of the Earth when he said, “When we talk about the environment, about creation, my thoughts turn to the first pages of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, which states that God placed man and woman on earth to cultivate and care for it (cf. 2:15).” And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?

The verb “to cultivate” reminds me of the care that the farmer has for his land so that it will bear fruit, and be shared. Cultivating and caring for creation is God’s plan; it means nurturing the world with responsibility and transforming it into a garden, a habitable place for everyone. As Marist we strive to practice Pope Francis’s words as well as fulfill our obligation to be good stewards of the Earth.

Let us pray—

Dear God,

We thank you for the abundance of resources that you have given us. With great power to either protect or destroy the earth, comes great responsibility to maintain it.

Please help us to have the knowledge and ability to learn how to care for the Earth and the blessings you so generously bestowed upon us.

In your name we pray, Amen.

Mary Seat of Wisdom—Pray for us.

Digital Hope

Morning Prayer: Digital Hope
September 23, 2014
Prayer by Mr. Billy Vogelson, Campus Minister

We continue our learning and awareness during Digital Citizenship Week.

Today we focus on how technology and social media can be used as tools to hurt others and to begin our day, because of my involvement in the planning of this week as a Campus Minister, I was asked to prepare our prayer.

I have no Facebook account, I am not on Instagram. I don’t tweet nor do I care to Google hang out. With that said, I am completely unqualified to make any comments concerning the proper use of social media and technology except for the one aspect of my life that allows me some credibility on this subject: I have a 2 year old daughter.

She already wants to use any screen we have available. She knows how to swipe an i-phone to look at pictures, find her Elmo app and open it on the i-pad, and regularly communicates with her grandparents via Face Time and Skype.

She consumes technology already. I think about this a lot- is it good or bad she does this?

But moreso I reflect a great deal on the person she will become and constantly has the opportunity to be each day.

The technology she will use in 10 years will be completely different than what you use today. It’s not the technology that gives me pause to reflect. It’s hoping that she’ll use it in the right way. At the school I previously worked at, I saw misuse of technology end friendships, ruin reputations, and cause students, both victims and aggressors, to have to transfer schools. After each incident was dealt with I thought, is this going to be my daughter?

What I hope is that she uses technology to pledge to end the R word or donate a bowl of rice rather than use it to screen shot someone’s regretful snapchat photo in order to intimidate and threaten that person to gain status or popularity. But there are no guarantees she will do the right thing.

And these are the days that I am thankful she is still 2.

My prayer for her— my prayer for us— is that we stop before we click. I pray that she realizes her actions have an impact on others and that any power gained through the misuse of technology is hollow. I pray that she grows up to know that she is connected to her brothers and sisters in Christ and who have inherent dignity and worth.

I pray that we do the same. That we spend more time building up the Kingdom of God rather than tearing it down. I pray that we step in and stand up for those who are physically, intellectually, or socially weaker than us.

May we find ways to love our neighbor, to affirm, and always find ways to forgive.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.

The World Cup: A Religious Experience

Morning Prayer: The World Cup: A Religious Experience
September 17, 2014
Prayer by Maria ’16

Over the summer, I engaged in a pastime that I never thought I would do: watching the World Cup. I have never been into watching sports, so the fact that I would sit in front of the TV for several hours each day watching soccer was surprising. My younger brother is a soccer player, so he initiated the World Cup craze in my house. Although I was uninterested at first, I was slowly drawn in and eventually became addicted. I had never realized how intense and technical a game soccer, or futbol as it is called in most other countries, is. I watched the games on Univision, so the commentary was in Spanish. Although I couldn’t understand all of it because they were talking so fast, I was able to pick out bits and pieces. My favorite remark was made during one of the Mexico games. One of the soccer players was down, and the ref said, “We tell him what they told Lazarus: rise up and walk!” After having a good laugh, I started thinking about how important religion is in Latin America. Biblical references and prayer are abundant, so it was no surprise that a week later, my family was surrounding the TV watching the Colombia and Brazil game and doing some heavy duty praying. My home team of Colombia unfortunately lost, which made me really sad, but the sense of unity I felt with my family and Colombia and the power of prayer was not lost upon me.

Praying in another language is powerful. When we pray in our native language, we often recite from memory and don’t really think about the meaning behind the prayer. Praying in another language that does not come quite as easily helps us to really think about the meaning behind our prayer. I often do this during cross country races to calm my nerves. I usually say the Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory Be in Spanish. I encourage you all to do this whenever you feel stressed or need to take your mind off of things. Since it is Hispanic Heritage Month, I ask everyone to join me in saying the Our Father in Spanish:

En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amen.
Padre Nuestro, que estás en el cielo,
Santificado sea tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu reino;
Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Y perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.
No nos dejes caer en la tentación;
Más líbranos de mal.
Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.
En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amen.