Hidden Greatness

Morning Prayer:
May 20, 2015

Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest and author who shared his faith through his actions and his words.

One particular quote that he wrote about, Hidden Greatness, really reminded me a lot about what is means to be Marist. What we value as a Marist community.

Henri Nouwen writes,

“There is much emphasis in our society today on notoriety and fame. Our newspapers and television keep giving us the message: What counts is to be known, praised, adored, and admired.

Still, real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. Some of the greatest works of art and the most important works of peace were created by people who had no need for the limelight. They knew that what they were doing was their call, and they did it with great patience, perseverance, and love.”

Let us pray,

Dear Lord, help us to move humbly through this day. Help us to pause so that we may notice those around us. Help our actions be an answer to someone’s prayer. Help our voice be a voice of encouragement. Help our work be love made visable. Give us a greatful heart so that joy can be our gift to the world.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.

The Secret of Leadership

Morning Prayer:
May 12, 2015
Prayer by Mrs. Kay McEvoy-Smith

The Secret of Leadership

We all find ourselves in situations in which we need to demonstrate leadership skills.  Perhaps reflection on the following points can help us as we find ourselves interacting with others.  (Sister Christen Shukwit)

The Secret of Leadership is:

  • to think of your position as an opportunity to serve, not as a trumpet call to self-importance.
  • to hold always to the principle:  People are more important than things.
  • giving loyalty to those under you and not demanding it first of them.
  • allegiance to truth.  Remember, truth alone wins in the end.
  • bearing the larger picture always in mind.  Ask yourself, “What are we really trying to accomplish?”
  • never to ask of others what you would not willingly do yourself.
  • listening for the voice of reason in others.  Listening to what is really trying to happen in every situation.
  • working with things as they are, not as you wish they were, nor as you think they  ought to be: for the “impossible” dream can be attained only in possible stages.
  • far-sightedness:  gazing beyond the visible to the potential on the horizon.
  • to consider the team more important than the product.  Remember, a good team can develop many products.
  • not allowing your decisions to be influenced by personal likes and dislikes.
  • magnanimity:  not bearing grudges.  Remember that, when people hurt you, they are hurting themselves even more.  Give them your silent sympathy.
  • the ability to inspire others with faith in their own high potential.

-J. Donald Walters, author

Let us pray:

Dear Lord, please help to instill in all of us the ability to lead others humbly.  As our seniors move out into the world and other Marist students move forward in their time at Marist, may we always remember the example of Jesus who, with the Holy Spirit, led twelve ordinary men to build a religion that is now a world-wide community of faith.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Serenity Now

Morning Prayer:
May 11, 2015
Prayer by Mr. Brian Freel, Director of Campus Ministry

I don’t know how much time you spend in your car.  It takes me about 45 minutes to get to school in the morning and an hour to get home. About two hours per day in the car.  Sometimes I listen to music on the radio.  After what Brendan told us about his experience, I try not to look at my phone in the car.  Often the news is on, but sometimes I turn it off because I get overwhelmed.  There’s unrest in Baltimore, tornadoes in Texas, ISIS in the Middle East, earthquake in Nepal.  There are so many big problems and I feel there is little I can do.

And then I heard of Jennifer Rothchild.  She’s a graduate of Marist.  She walked these halls.  Maybe her biology class was taught by Mr. Lorys or Mrs. Glidewell.  Maybe she played volleyball or dodgeball in Laird.  In 2007, with the help of other Marist alumni, she opened an orphanage in Nepal, called Sam’s house.  Now 37 children have a home.  That’s not a lot of kids; not even two classrooms at Marist.  But 37 kids are not alone, not on the street.

Jennifer reminds me that I can’t do everything, but I can do something.  I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone.  Who can you help today?  The person sitting next to you?  An orphan on the other side of the world?

On Wednesday, you will have the opportunity to donate to Sam’s House.  The money will go to the people in Nepal struck by the earthquake.  Please talk and pray with your family about what you may want to give.

Let us continue to pray for the people of Nepal and all those people in our country and around the world who are in need.  Earlier this year, Carter shared her favorite prayer with us.  I’d like to pray part of it now:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Follow Me one Step at a Time

Morning Prayer: Follow Me one Step at a Time
May 6, 2015
Prayer by Katie ’15

Follow Me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.  Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of doubt. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”  -Thomas Merton

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.

Fab Five

Morning Prayer: Make God Part of your Fab 5
May 5, 2015
Prayer by Mrs. Gigi Meyers, Director of Development, Reach for Excellence

On this 5th of May, traditionally called Cinco de Mayo, it is appropriate that the number 5 is very important to our prayer this morning.
I recall a conversation I had with a work colleague when I was in my twenties about the value of truly good friends. He was making the point that if you could name 5 truly good friends in your lifetime, you were blessed. Think of the fab five phone commercial a few years back. I remember thinking to myself at the time “that’s ridiculous, I have more than 5 good friends.” He explained that to be part of your fab five, they had to be the kind of people who were there for you no matter what, even if it may inconvenience them. They had to be the kind of people you could call at 3:00 AM and say I am in trouble and need your help, and they would drop everything to be there for you, no questions asked. They are the kind of Individuals who celebrate your victories without envy, and support you through your disappointments without judgment.

As I have gotten older, I have come to understand the wisdom of my colleague’s statement. People move in and out of our lives constantly, sometimes we are very connected and we remain close, but most of the time it has to do with the period of life we are at, and time and distance seem to separate us. And while social media has allowed us to stay in touch a little better and we may be connected to hundreds and in some cases thousands of people, how many of them are truly good friends?

I am going to give you 5 seconds to stop and quietly think of who your fab five are right now. Some of them may be in your own family. Some of them may live close by, and others far away. If you have five, you are very, very fortunate, but I want you to make room for one more. If you can’t think of five, I want you to add one more. His name is God, in whatever form you may worship him, and he is always there for you, especially at 3:00 AM.

Seniors as you leave to enter the next phase of the journey, take him with you. 7th graders as you navigate through your years at Marist, take him with you. Make him one of your fab five, and know that through all the highs and lows, and no matter what time of the day or night, he will always take your call.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.

Life The Way It Should Be

Morning Prayer: Earth Day-
April 22, 2015
Prayer by Clark ’16

Life The Way It Should Be
by Taylor Jordao

Tell me what do you see
Purple, green, and gold,
Mountain peaks that touch the sky
Little black birds flying by

Sun setting in the west
Flowers in the east,
Calm, relaxing breeze
And forests filled with trees

Tell me what do you see
The sky starts to fade as night approaches
Animals will soon come out
The spring is ending without a doubt

Fall is coming near
Cold weather’s on its way,
Flowers start to die
Birds go south, bye bye.

Tell me what do you see
Happiness, love, and beauty,
Everyone is free
Life the way it should be.

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for the amazing world around us.

O GOD, We thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass.

We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, see the splendor of a green forest, taste autumn’s fruit, rejoice in the feel of snow, and breathe in the smell of spring flowers.

GRANT US a heart opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so blind that we pass by nature unseeing.

We pray for your world, that we may share and conserve its resources, and live in reverence for creation and in harmony with one another.

Mary Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

Every Marist Makes a Unique Story

Morning Prayer
April 15, 2015
Prayer by Taylor ’15 and Gracie ’15

This year, the leaders of the Emmaus retreat came up with an acronym for Emmaus: Every Marist Makes a Unique Story. No matter where we are in our Marist journey, every single person has had an experience here that has made us who we are.

7th graders: you are just at the beginning of your story. You have many memories ahead and can look forward to this unique story you are just starting to form.

8th graders: you’re getting ready to enter the next chapter in your story: high school. This is a big change, but don’t be scared, because great things are to come.

9th graders: you’re almost done with your first year of high school. Get ready to take on new and exciting leadership roles and make sure to be role models to the new freshman next year.

10th graders: You’re halfway through high school and getting ready to enter an exciting period of growth and change in your life. This can be scary, but it is also extremely rewarding so enjoy every minute of it.

11th graders: You are moving on to the final stage in this story. Next year will be one of the best years of your life, but will also fly by, so make sure to live in the moment and cherish the time you have left.

12th graders: You are almost done making your high school story. We’ve only got a little time left and we’ve been through a lot together during our time at Marist. We’ve shared many laughs, memories, and friendships together, but it is almost time for this to come to an end. Let’s all try to continue our friendships and relationship with God as we create a new story in the next phase of our lives and always remember the unique story we have each formed while here at Marist. For those of us embarking on Senior Emmaus next week, let’s try to remember that this is one of the last times we will all be together as a class, and we should make the most of it. With this in mind, let us quiet our hearts and pray:

Meet us, Lord, on the road to Emmaus,guide us on the path toward our destination, and renew our strength as we continue to walk and commune with you. Open our eyes, so we see the signs of your presence around us; Open our hearts, so we may receive your peace and love; and empower us to pass on to others the grace you have shared with us so freely.

Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

…And that is our prayer for this, the 2nd day of the 12 days of Emmaus, as the seniors continue our spiritual journey in the 12 days leading up to our retreat next weekend, Emmaus #163.
Remember to pray for us that we may know the Lord and deepen our relationship with Him and be Marist as we leave for college!

Life-Giving Words

Morning Prayer
April 14, 2015
Prayer by Mrs. Tricia Glidewell, Academic Dean

As I thought about our focus of ardent love of neighbor, words that we read in a recent Lenten book study at our church came to mind.  Craig Groeschel has written a book called “Soul Detox” that some of us read during Lent.  Many of us gave up something for Lent so we decided to use Groeschel’s book to help us give up some of the toxic influences in our lives.

One of the most meaningful chapters was on Lethal Language – you know, those words others speak that hurt and linger in our memories.  I ask you to stop and think for a moment about a time when someone spoke words about you that hurt you or that you’ve never forgotten? You know those words that play like a tape or a CD in your brain that just won’t go away.  Go ahead and think about that time.  I’m going to wait a few seconds for you to think about it.

What was the impact? Did the words make you feel badly about yourself?  How long did that feeling last?

Psalm 64:3   Evildoers sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.

Not all people who hurt us with words are evildoers. Some people are just reckless and don’t think about the impact of their words. Nevertheless, the words spoken by both groups are spirit-crushing words.

Now I want you to think about a time when someone said something to you that was so encouraging or complimentary or so meaningful that you can remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened?  I’ll give you a moment to think of a time like that.

How did you feel?  Did you feel good, appreciated, worthy, encouraged?  How long did that feeling last?  How did you feel about that person who said the positive thing about you?

Proverbs 12:18       Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:4         The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Paul is pretty clear in Ephesians about what kind of talk should come out of our mouths.

Ephesians 4:29a     Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up.

Craig Groeschel has a phrase that many of us in the book group have embraced, “When you think something positive, say it.”

I’m not talking just about comments like, “Your hair looks nice today.”  OR “I really like that shirt?” Those are very nice things to say, but what about digging deeper and talking about something more profound. “You’re a really good listener.”  “Your laugh brightens my day.”  “Your faith inspires me to want to be more like you.” “You did such a great job of helping me understand how to do those math problems that I made a better grade on the last quiz.”

These are life-giving words!

What are your opportunities to speak life-giving words? To encourage someone who is sad or is hurt or someone who did not do as well on a quiz or a test as he expected.  Someone in your neighborhood or family who is alone and sick and could use a visit – just a few minutes of your time.  The waiter or cashier who was not treated well by the last person they helped.

Proverbs 4:24-27   Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Proverbs 16:24       Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 25:11       The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver.

What choice will you make today about the words you speak?  Will they be spirit-crushing or with they be life-giving?  Which phrase do you want to be remembered for – for speaking spirit-crushing words or life-giving words?

Life-giving words can be life-changing words.  I challenge you to use life-giving words with each other today. Find at least one person today to whom you say a life-giving statement and see the effect it has on them and on you.  You may have given up something for Lent, but now I ask you take on something as we move toward Pentecost.  Take on the gift of speaking life-giving words for the forty or so days leading up to Pentecost.  See the changes life-giving words can make in your life and the lives of others.

Let us pray:  Lord, make us aware of opportunities to speak life-giving words.  Bring positive words to our minds and make them flow right off our tongues.  Help us to change people’s lives with our words. Amen.

Mary, seat of Wisdom, pray for us.