One with Nature

Morning Prayer:
February 19, 2016
Prayer by Courtney ’16

“When we speak of the ‘environment,’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.” [#139] Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si

Have you ever thought about how we drive a couple hours out of the city for most of our school retreats? These places often have less technology than we are used to in our everyday lives: we turn off our cell phones, we have no access to TV or internet, and sometimes we even have limited amount of hot water or air conditioning. Or why do people walk outside for a breath of fresh air when they are stressed, mad, or upset? Why is it that simply witnessing a sunset, sitting on a beach, or standing on the calm of a mountain top brings us such comfort and peace?

When God created Adam and Eve, he didn’t drop them in the midst of a bustling metropolis, armed with a cell phone and a credit card. No, God carefully and intentionally created the earth and the sky and the sea, all the plants and animals, and finished off his plan with humans to live in harmony with all of his creation. We were called to care for his creation, not to abuse it for our benefit. God intended us to live in unison with nature. Like we heard last week at the Ash Wednesday mass, we are dust, and to dust we will return.

Dear Lord, we thank you for thoughtfully planning every bit of your creation, including each one of us. Guide us in how to interact with the world around us, and grant us respect for your gift of nature. Help us to notice the beauty that surrounds us. In your name we pray, amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Mother Nature

Morning Prayer:
February 17, 2016
Prayer by Laine ’16

Good morning. I want to ask that you take a quick moment to think. Picture your favorite place in the world. Picture it in its entirety. Maybe you’re on the top of a mountain, standing in a field of wild flowers or snow. Or maybe your toes are sinking into the cool sand of your favorite beach while your skin soaks up some warm sun rays. Or maybe you’re reading a book on a dock at your favorite lake while boats pass by. Think about the smell of the pine trees or the salt water. Think about the warm or cold breeze brushing your cheeks. Think about the amazing sunset or sunrise you are watching. Now that you have this place in mind, think about how much of the scenery is nature. God tells us to care for our environment and to cherish it, but why does it seem so hard to do? Why do we still throw all of our lunch away when we know things can be composted or recycled? Why do we still take long showers knowing that extra water could be used for something better? Or why do we leave lights on when we leave a room? This Lenten season, we as a school are trying to make being environmentally conscious a bit easier to do. Maybe you’ve noticed the posters up above the trisorters, or the stickers on the lunch containers, or the articles in the halls and bathrooms. So next time you are at lunch, think about that beautiful place you pictured earlier and how beautiful and pure that nature is. Wouldn’t you want to keep it that way?

Let us pray,

Lord, grant us the wisdom to care for the earth.
Help us to act now for the good of future generations and all your creatures.
Help us to see your ever-present love around us today and everyday.

Amen.

Mardi Gras Tuesday

Morning Prayer:
February 9, 2016
Prayer by Mrs. Kathie Calabrese, Theology Department

Good morning. Today is known as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday – it can mean going to confession before the beginning of Lent but most often we associate Mardi Gras with eating lots of good food before the great fast begins. Traditionally it begins with the feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day and ends at midnight tonight.

All this celebration can seem rather strange when we realize how many people in our world can’t even find clean, safe water to drink – including in our own American city of Flint, Michigan. This Lent let us focus on becoming more aware of the blessing we have when we just go out in the hall and refill our water bottles. Every time we take a sip of water this Lent let us call to mind those who do not have that luxury.

Let us pray:

God of life,
God of all those who walk miles for water,
God of those whose only supply is contaminated, bringing death, not life.
God of life, may water, clean and life giving, be available to every
living creature so that we may say with Saint Francis:

“Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure “ Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Prayer for us.

Pray. Fast. Give.

Morning Prayer:
February 8, 2016
Prayer by Fr. Joel Konzen, S.M., Principal

Good morning!  As we’ve done before, we’ll be concentrating as a community on a simple trio for Lent, and that’s pray, fast, and give. In the first part, pray, I see or hear pretty often a word of thanks for the prayers offered for someone’s health or to keep someone in mind for a particular reason. These days, as busy as we are, it’s one of the greatest acts of love we can commit, to take a little bit of our time and devote it to God and to the needs of others. The fasting, as you know, will remind us of the roles of fast and abstinence required of Catholics, but we’ll also be emphasizing not wasting precious resources in a world where there is a lot of need. Any time we can avoid waste, to take only what we need, to eat what we have taken, and to use electricity, water, paper, and plastic sparingly, we’re aiding someone else and keeping costs down, not just here at Marist but as a way of life. And when it comes to giving, there are plenty of opportunities. This year again we’ll be working with CRS, Catholic Relief Services, to offer something meaningful to people in great need: refugees, children, poor villagers, and those who long for an education.

So, when you get the ashes on Wednesday, maybe you’ll be able to think “Pray, Fast, Give”—that we will be entering a time for some sacrifice, a time for some self-examination, a time for generosity.

Let us pray.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. O God, you sent your son Jesus, as it says in John’s gospel, so that we might have life and have it abundantly. Help us to recognize that abundance in our daily life. Move us to share with others, to care for the earth and all that we have been given, and to take time to thank you for the care you show us. Grant that we might grow in holiness and happiness by sharing in Jesus’s sacrifice, and, once our Lenten penance is past, may we come to rejoice with him in the resurrection. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Voices

Morning Prayer:
February 3, 2016
Prayer by Emma ’17

Today, February 3rd, is the feast day of Saint Blaise, who is known for his miraculous healing of a boy’s throat using candles. In the church on this day, the ritual of the Blessing of the Throats is performed. Our throats are the source of our voices, and how we use our voices has a major impact on our daily lives and the lives of those around us. It is important that we always remember to use our voices for good, whether it is being a voice for the voiceless, encouraging someone, spreading positivity, or sharing the word and message to God.

Let us pray:

Lord,
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, fill our hearts, and raise our voices with the words of your message, so as to the works of justice we are called to do. Help us avoid using our voices for evil so that we may be brought ever closer to you.
Amen.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

Teach Me to Listen

Morning Prayer:
February 2, 2016
Prayer by Mrs. Elizabeth Figueroa, Counseling Department

Teach Me to Listen
John Veltri, SJ

Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”
Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen. Amen.

Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Morning Prayer:
January 19, 2016
Prayer by Mr. Andrew Johnson, Theology Department

“Thou, Dear God”: Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits
By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Edited by Lewis V. Baldwin

Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

 

 

From the Dirt comes Life…

Morning Prayer:
January 13, 2016
Prayer by Mr. David Donahue, Theology Department

The Marist Way theme for this year is humility. Most people would define humility as something passive: being unassuming or unpretentious. And they may be right for the origin of the word humility comes from the Latin noun for dirt, huemas and there is probably nothing more lowly or passive as plain as old dirt. But for the Christian, humility has an active quality: from the dirt comes life. In this way of understanding humility as life-giving, the Christian person must become, as scripture teaches, a seed of the mustard plant or a grain of wheat and must be prepared to sink into the dirt, seemingly to disintegrate; but in so doing, allowing God to use the “seed of self” to bring life to others.  For the purposeful Christian this happens so unnoticed that afterwards people are amazed when the “harvest comes in”. People are amazed because they cannot understand how this harvest happens; not understanding that something authentically Christian fell into the “dirt” and gave of the essence of itself so that others would benefit.

So if we act with this understanding of humility, being a grain of wheat that really and truly falls into the darkness of our environs where our proud selves are disintegrated and entirely mixed with the surroundings and people of our daily existence, what wonders can be accomplished by our Christian humility!

Let us pray:

Lord, help us to understand that when we become the “seeds” of humility and forget what the world prizes as being successful, we are helping you usher in the “Kingdom of God”. In Mary you have given us the greatest example of what humility is, does and accomplishes. It was in humility that Mary brought forth our Savior and it was in her humility she helped bring forth Christ’s Church. Let us always prize and imitate the humility of Mary and in so doing, we do our part in bringing into reality the Kingdom of God.  Amen

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

A New Year Prayer

Morning Prayer: A Call to Leadership and Service
January 4, 2016
Prayer by Fr. Konzen, S.M.

Good morning. I hope you each enjoyed the celebration of our Lord’s birth and the welcome two-week break that came with it. If you’re hearing this, then you’ve done what I asked on our last day before Christmas—to come back today so that we could start the second part of our year together, which we do today.

I’ve been thinking about leadership, maybe especially about how they came to adore the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, who was only a helpless baby and who had been born into a humble life that would become a brief life, one of great service and sacrifice. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everyone can lead because everyone can serve.” We know that he knew the bible, and that’s where we read in Luke’s gospel that whoever would lead the others would first have to serve the needs of all the rest.

How do you want to lead this year? What kind of leadership—I mean to say, what kind of service—did you want to offer when this year began back in August? Was it in a club, on a team, in your department, in the classroom, or simply by the kind of steady example you give each day? Let us take just a short moment to think about that—what is the leadership I most need to be a part of, to offer to others in the remainder of this school year? What kind of example do I need to give in order to lead?

(Pause)

Who is depending on you for your leadership, and how well do you plan to serve them? We serve the Lord first, and that is our model of how we need to serve others. We receive them and we serve them as if they were Jesus.

Let us pray.

In the name of… O God, who sent your son Jesus to show us the way to serve and to love, grant that we may be ready to lead as you would have us lead because we have been the school of service begun in the coming of Jesus. As we strive to follow the model of his mother, to be able to say “yes” to you when you call, may we know the joy of serving Christ through our daily work, and may we lead others as He did, unwavering in our purpose and our commitment to you, exercising mercy and a generous spirit. Show us the way to you, the way to lead in whatever capacity is ours to carry. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

May the months ahead be a time of real growth for us all. I’m glad we are back together.

Waiting…

Morning Prayer:
December 16, 2015
Prayer by Fr. Harhager, S.M.

One theme running through the Advent Season is “waiting.” We remember Israel’s “waiting for the Messiah”. We are reminded of our own waiting for the Second Coming of Christ. And, of course, we wait for the coming Christmas Season when we celebrate God being born into our world and into our lives.

“Waiting” is something we experience on an almost daily basis. We can wait in the halls for school to start, or wait in traffic, or we wait in line at banks, stores, restaurants and airports. Waiting is such a common human experience; and one rarely viewed as positive or spiritual. It is more likely to be viewed as negative – leading to frustration, impatience and even anger.

Advent reminds us that we can transform these common ordinary experiences into positive and spiritual moments, if we use them as “quiet times” – silent points in our lives. Waiting can be positive and spiritual if used as hope-filled moments of anticipation and awareness of God still working His way into our lives. God is daily being born within us, not unlike His birth in Bethlehem many years ago.

Let us pray,

Almighty God,
We are thankful for times of stillness
which allow us to breathe in
the presence of Your Spirit in our lives
– Your Spirit who prays constantly within us.
Let these times of quiet – in our busy world –
heal us, refresh us, renew us
with a greater awareness of Your presence.
Help us to wait always with great anticipation and joy
for the fullness of your kingdom
which continues to be born in us and continues to shape our lives.
Blessed are You,
who lives within us, forever and ever. Amen.

Mary, seat of Wisdom: pray for us.