We are Each a Mirror

Morning Prayer:
December 2, 2015
Prayer by Ally ’16

Alexander Papaderos was six years old when German troops invaded and destroyed his home during WWII. He was placed in a concentration camp. During the war, he found the fragments of a mirror from one of the German soldier’s crashed motorcycles. He tried to put the pieces back together, but couldn’t. Instead he took one piece and scratched it on a rock until it became circular and smooth.

After the war ended, he founded an institute to help people let go of the hatred the war had brought. One day, during a speech, he was asked, “What is the meaning of life?”

As he pulled out a circular mirror, this was his response:

“I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.”

Dear God,

Remind us that we are each a mirror. Others see themselves in us, and what we choose to reflect will impact them. Help us to shine our light into the dark places, providing guidance and understanding to each other. Let us realize that although we may not know what our larger design and shape is, we all have a purpose. We can be a role model for others, and show them how to shine their own light.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom.

Pray for Us.

Thank a Teacher

Morning Prayer:
November 18, 2015
Prayer by Ananya ’16

It’s hard to believe first term is drawing to a close. At our grade-wide mass at the beginning of the year, each senior was assigned a teacher for whom we’d perform a random act of kindness.

And though the end of the year means rushed assignments and cramming for exams, I’ve had to think about what I’ll do for the teacher assigned to me. We owe a lot to our teachers. Maybe it’s senior year nostalgia, but I’ve begun to think about how our debt to our teachers can lie, innocuous and overlooked, in the back of our minds, buried deep under our frustration with theorems and rubrics and syllabi.

But you know you have at least one teacher for whom you’re especially thankful. His or her opinions might rub off on you, as you discover their quirks or weird obsessions — with Bruce Springsteen or college basketball or coloring books or podcasts. Around the end of the term, you might notice that, like you, they’re exhausted. So even if you don’t get around to thanking a teacher in person today, take a moment now to think of just one, or two or three — and send a prayer their way.

Dear God,

Thank you for our teachers and their unending passion and often thankless commitment to education. Let them know it doesn’t go unappreciated, and that the lessons they teach us now will remain with us long after we leave here.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Amen.

Humility is…

Morning Prayer:
November 9, 2015
Prayer by Fr. Harhager, S.M.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself than you ought. It is not low self-esteem. It is a wholly accurate appraisal of oneself.

Humility is not a personality trait. Some people may seem naturally humble but humility is not really natural to anyone. It is a state of being which we plant and foster in our lives. We grow into humility.

Humility is not something done in isolation. We become humble because we are right with God. And because we are humble, we set things right with our brothers and sisters.

Humility leads to action. We want to help others, see others do well and be well; rather than trying to make them feel less so that we can somehow feel like we are more, are better. Humility is service, kindness, gentleness. It’s being nice to one another. So, dude, be nice!

Practicing humility means acknowledging that God is the giver of all good things. And we do that by offering God our thanks.

Let us pray, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirt.

Lord God, we thank you for your many gifts and providing for our needs. We recognize that all good things come from You. Help us to maintain a spirit of gratitude and humility. Wash our hearts of pride, that in lowliness we might better serve You and our brothers and sisters.
We love you, we praise you, we thank you; and we pray all of this that You may live in us and we do all for your glory. Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom…. pray for us.

a Prayer for the Present Moment

Morning Prayer:
September 11, 2015
Prayer by Champ ’16

I would like to share a quote from you that came from someone who lost their father in the 9/11 attack.

“My father was the best person I have ever known and though he was taken from me on that day, nothing and no one will ever be able to take away the eight years and two days of my life that I shared with him. After my father died, and after I lost so much, I promised myself that I would never lose who I am as a person – the person that my father brought me up to be. … If you owe someone an apology, tell them you are sorry today. If someone asks for your forgiveness, forgive them. Start being the person you always wanted to be today and don’t waste your time worrying about tomorrow.”

Out of all the quotes that I looked up yesterday, this one stood out the most to me. Not only does it give us advice about how to be the best possible person God made us to be, but also, relates to every single person on campus today. We worry way too much about what is to come whether that be projects or tests. But we always forgot about the moment we are in right now. Rather than worrying about what is to come, let us take a moment to center ourselves in the present. (Pause)

Let us pray –

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Dear God,

Help us to be the best possible version of us today. Give us the strength to forgive those who need forgiving in our lives. Help us to stop worrying about what is to come and give us the power to focus on who we are today. Also, help the people who have lost family members and friends in the 9/11 attack 14 years ago.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

ANYTHING can be

Morning Prayer:
September 1, 2015
Prayer by Natalie ’16

When I was little, I had a favorite poem by Shel Silverstein. It goes like this:

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS

The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS

Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me—

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

As students, it’s way too easy to place restrictions on ourselves. We define ourselves by the types of things we would and wouldn’t do. We say “I’m not the type to do this activity,” and “That event isn’t really my thing.” When we continually add limits to ourselves, eventually we are narrowed into tiny boxes of who we are and aren’t.

But here, at the beginning of a new school year, I invite everyone to start shedding some limitations. Whether you’re a seventh grader or a senior, free yourself up to do something you normally wouldn’t. This year, let’s ignore some of the MUSTN’TS, the SHOULDN’TS, and the NEVER HAVES, and try something new.

Let us pray:

Dear Lord,

As we begin this school year, help us to forget about some restrictions and try something we never have before, keeping in mind that all things are possible through you.

Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom. Pray for us.

the Canticle of the Creatures

Morning Prayer:
August 31, 2015
Prayer by Fr. John Harhager, S.M., President

The encyclical on the environment, which Pope Francis issued at the end of May, is called Laudato Si, which is the opening line, in Italian, of the prayer by St. Francis of Assissi called the Canticle of the Creatures. This morning let us pray the lines of this poem as quoted by Pope Francis in his encyclical:

Let us pray,

Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day
and through whom you give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant
with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of you, Most High.

Praised be you, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear
and precious and beautiful.

Praised be you, my Lord,
through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather
through whom you give sustenance
to your creatures.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble
and precious and chaste.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful
and robust and strong.

Mary, seat of wisdom… pray for us.

Simplicity and Humility

Morning Prayer:
August 28, 2015
Prayer by Courtney ’16

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When I was younger, maybe around 4 years old, I shared a room with my older sister. Like other kids, we rarely wanted to go to sleep at night. We always begged my dad to tell us a new story about a memory he had from when he was younger. Eventually, we knew the endings to every story; so, my dad had to think of something new in place of the stories. This is what he came up with: my sister and I would each go back and forth saying “God bless so-and-so” and we would try to individually name as many people as we could think of that meant something to us. We would usually start off with our family, then friends, then maybe our teachers, neighbors, coaches, or sometimes even the mailman or a random girl we met at the park that day. To a first grader and a pre-K’er, this prayer wasn’t much more than a fun game and a way to stay up later.

I bring this memory forward in prayer because I am reminded of the theme for the year- simplicity and humility.  In Philippians Chapter 2, God tells us, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” It’s hard to know everything that goes on in the lives of each person around us. I may not have heard about what my classmate did this summer, or what his home life is like, or what brings him joy; but I can say a simple prayer to ask God to continue to work in his life. I can acknowledge that we all have an inherent worth that was bestowed upon us by our Creator. So God, I just ask this morning that as we start a new school year, you open us up to the value you have placed in every individual. Help us be mindful of each person that touches our lives so that we can better respect and serve one another. Grant us peace of mind when life seems too complicated, and help us return to a state of simplicity. God, we ask you to bless all of the people in this community, because we can’t do it without others, and most importantly, we can’t do it without you.

Mary, seat of wisdom, Pray for us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

6 more days…

Morning Prayer:
May 28, 2015
Prayer by Mrs. Erin Paul ’92 – Campus Minister

Doesn’t it feel like the entire world is off of school except for us?

My children are done with school, the bus that picks up the kids on my street, doesn’t slow me down in the morning anymore, and the passive aggressive crossing guard next to my neighborhood is nowhere to be found.

School is out for summer.  Well, for some.

I’m tired.  I’ve been busy, I’ve done a lot of things.

I have a friend from college who teaches in San Diego – they are on year-round school.  This sounds like a poor choice.  I want summer – I want to rest.  I want my biggest decision to be which flip flops to wear today, and should we go to the pool before lunch or after a nap.  Rest.  Real rest.  Right?  Even God rested.

Remember that whole “on the 7th day?”  So it never actually said, God was tired so on the 7th day he ate too much pulled pork and took a nap.  It simply says, he rested.  He ceased to work.  In fact he looked around at each things he had created and said, good on me, This is good.  I’m done.  Kind of his “drop the mic” moment if you will.  So he simply ceased work on the seventh day – he rested.

We will rest – we will cease work in 6 days.  We will, I promise.  But in the meantime, let’s look around and finish what we’re doing – and do it well enough to say – it’s good.  Good job me.  Then that rest will be even more appropriate.

Good morning God – here it is – the home stretch – 6 more days.  Fill us with your Spirit so that we can do all we have in front of us.  We each want to stand on the sidewalk next Thursday and say, It is finished – that was my best.  I will rest.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us – we need it.

Amen.

Personal Dedication

Morning Prayer: How to be my friend and the true meaning of achievement…
May 20, 2015
Prayer by Anderson ’17

I’m pretty bad at holding good conversations. And it’ll probably take a few months of awkward chat and “hello’s” in the hall for us to finally become really good friends and for that to change. On top of that, during those months, it is implied that you will have to buy me fries with Marist blend seasoning. But that’s beside the point. Our year long struggle and eventual friendship would both mean something.

I’m not trying to tell you how the exaggerated applying process works to become my friend, but since it’s now in the air, you might as well try it. But here is what my actual point is. It’s a long process of your effort that will go unnoticed in the end.
Congratulations to everyone who will be receiving an award today. Those who didn’t get anything, you should not be envious of them. Don’t even be slightly hard on yourself. We receive achievements for our time and hard work in the different things we do and participate in. Rewards are a reassuring sign of our progress. But you don’t always need a physical accolade to prove anything. In the end, it’s the spiritual and emotional honors we have been given for our own personal dedication that enriches us.

Let Us Pray –

God, you give us lives filled with opportunity and chance. As we pursue our interests, we can eventually accomplish our dreams and smash our goals. Let us acknowledge all the hard work that goes into every day. Thank you for giving us patience to understand we may not win something or be rewarded right away. And let us acknowledge all the hard work that goes into everyday as we seek to embody your love.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.