Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Morning Prayer: Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 10, 2014
Prayer by Jason ’14:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” At this point in many of our lives, we are scared of the future. Excited by the possibilities, but scared of what else could happen. We are all searching, meandering, wandering, trying to find something, even if we don’t know exactly what it is. But we’re not lost. Lost implies we have no idea where we are and no way of getting to where we’re going.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” This quote by J.R.R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, is a favorite of mine that I like to keep in mind at the beginning of every year. We are entering this new year and leaving behind the old one. In doing so, we are leaving behind our old hopes, dreams, and desires and entering a world of new possibilities. To all the seniors especially, it opens up so many choices for us that we feel as if we’re overwhelmed. So we wander in this new world, but we’re not lost. We have guidance from parents, teachers, friends, and God. We just have to be open to receiving it.

Let us pray. God, grant us your wisdom and guidance in this new year. Thank you for all that you have given us and allow us the strength to keep moving forward. We ask that you help us to see your will and follow it to the best of our abilities. Help us to have faith that you have paved a path for us, and help us to remember sometimes we need to let go and let you take over.

In your name we pray.  Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Trusting God’s Path

Morning Prayer: Trusting God’s Path
January 9, 2014
Prayer by Sterling ’14:

I asked for Strength…
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom…
And God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity…
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage…
And God gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love…
And God gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors…
And God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted…
I received everything I needed.

 

We all turn to God in times of trouble and ask for assistance or for a material good that we feel is a necessity in our lives at that moment, whether that be a good grade on the test next period, or perhaps this week for school to be canceled. But because God doesn’t always answer our prayers on our terms, it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love, care, and look after us. It simply means he has a different agenda.  God is our creator, our provider. God knows what is in our best interest; now whether we agree, is sometimes a different story. But, God has the tendency to give us gifts in disguise, gifts we often do not ask for. Nobody wants or asks for difficulties, danger, or trouble, but it is with these gifts from God that we become the faithful disciples of the Lord that we strive to be. Everything happens for a reason. TRUST IN GOD.

 

I will share a brief prayer from Thomas Merton,

“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 that 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 I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Mary Seat of Wisdom. Pray for us.

It’s Christmas All Year: A Spirit of Giving

We are getting into the Christmas season.  Thanksgiving is finished, and now that it’s actually the proper time to put out those blow-up Santa Clauses, turn on B98.5 for some “Jingle Bell Rock,” or heat up the oven to bake some gingerbread cookies, it’s also the time when we really remember those people who aren’t quite as fortunate as we are.

But if December is supposed to be that one month every year when we go out and help others, Marist must not be following that rule – because we truly keep in mind those who are less fortunate than us during all twelve months of the year.  You see, our philosophy states that we as a community “foster a concern for those who are often forgotten or neglected by society” – and as you’ll notice if you ever visit campus, that goal certainly becomes a reality in so many people around our hallowed grounds.

Example A: In the middle of September, our Student Council moderator received an email from two parents who had a Spirit Week proposal for us: instead of having students spend anywhere from $20-$50 each on corsages and boutonnieres for one Homecoming dance, they suggested that we encourage redirecting those funds to charity.  And needless to say, in our continual effort to advance the mission and the positive atmosphere of our school, we Student Council Officers wholeheartedly supported the proposal – but we had a concern.  No one had ever tried a large-scale fundraiser like this through student government before (or at least since we’d been at Marist) – so would students actually donate?  Either way, we publicized, we sold wristbands to replace the flowers, and although some students still wanted to embrace the old Homecoming tradition as well (as they rightfully could have), we still raised $4,000 – and in hindsight, given this great turnout, we should never have worried at all.

A few weeks ago,  my Co-President (Katie Hearn) and I met with Ms. Kristin Connor, the Executive Director of Cure Childhood Cancer, and presented the check to her.  Just like Katie and me, she was blown away by the students’ generosity – but the giving didn’t just end there.

Christopher with fellow Student Council Co-President Katie Hearn as they present a check to Cure Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor

Christopher with fellow Student Council Co-President Katie Hearn as they present a $4,000 check to Cure Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor

Because now comes example B.  $4,000 was a lot for a group of students to donate, and I didn’t think we could do much better – but you guessed it: we did.  On the same day that Ms. Connor came to campus, we held another fundraiser, this time for Catholic Relief Services’ use in the Philippines, and students brought in over $6,000 for the charity – because although, yes, we often give throughout the year, our community shows its support of others the most during times of disasters, whether it be for a hurricane in New England or a tornado in the Midwest or a typhoon halfway across the world.

But both of these fundraisers that I just outlined simply represent a larger idea, for they don’t even touch on the many ways in which students usually help others: in the toy drives (one of which we had on Wednesday!), in the canned food drives, or in the community service that constantly brings students to local organizations from the Elaine Clark Center to Habitat for Humanity to Project Open Hand, just to name a few.  So if you ever volunteer somewhere one weekend, chances are that you’ll see a Marist student there, no matter the time of year – because while it may seem unrealistic, Marist just seems to have that Christmas spirit of giving, no matter the season.

Marist Graffiti

As these days have been so humid, the stairwells have been steamy and water has collected on the windows.  I have noticed a rogue group of 9th grade girls writing messages on the windows.

I thought you’d like to know what Marist students write:

  • Have you seen God today?
  • Have you been grateful today?
  • Tell someone you love them
  • I love school
  • You look beautiful!

I’m sure Fr. Colin would be proud…

it may be difficult to see so read below:

it may be a bit difficult to read – very cool!

Bait and Switch

Morning Prayer: Bait and Switch
December 4, 2013
Prayer by Mr. Drew Ditzel ’01; Marist Theology Teacher:

A few years ago, I sat down to watch the movie Up with my wife. I was ready for a light hearted affair ala Finding Nemo. Amelia and I would share a few laughs. Have another exhilarating Friday night that ended by 9:30. It was going to be a great evening.

So imagine my surprise when eight minutes into the movie I found myself crying like a little child. I thought “kids watch this? How is this movie not rated R? I am balling my eyes out. This is some serious emotional manipulation.”

Pixar pulled a bait and switch. I don’t like bait and switches. I felt tricked and surprised.

You are probably feeling a bit of bait and switch right now. Why is this guy talking so much? I have homework that has become school work to do. I have rats to snowboard with and trucks to race. Pray and be done with it.

But the thing about the bait and switch, while we don’t like them at first, we remember them. I remember where I was sitting on my couch when Up ripped my heart out and trampled tears out of it. I remember what time of day it was, that it wasn’t quite dark.

With prayer, we think we know what is going to happen. Someone talks. We sort of listen. And then we mumble Mary Seat of wisdom and we move on. We don’t remember any of it.

Because deep down, we don’t think there is any chance of a bait and switch. We don’t think anything different is going to happen. We don’t think God is going to change anything. If we did, we would be wide awake. On edge to make sure someone doesn’t pray for God to do something we don’t have any interest in doing. If we did, we would treat prayer like the dangerous thing that it is.

This morning in the middle of my prayer, I am going to give you a moment of silence to lift your own prayer up. Maybe this morning you will pray differently. Like you don’t know what is going to happen once you say it. Pray like you will remember this moment. Pray like God might do something you could never expect like answer.

Good morning God,

Give us focus. Let us rest for at least one moment today here. Listen to our prayers this morning as we silently lift them to you.

 (silent moment)

Jesus, we admit we don’t think anything is going to happen. Bait and switch us Lord. And give us the faith to notice when you do.

Amen.

Mary Seat of Wisdom …pray for us.

Patience…

Morning Prayer: Patience…
November 19, 2013
Prayer by Emily ’14:

Ever since childhood, we have all been told that patience is a virtue. It can be hard at times, however, to see the necessity of patience. My most memorable experience occurred a couple years ago when I was at pole vaulting practice, working on a particular skill. I grew frustrated because I wasn’t getting it. I kept trying and trying, only to become more frustrated. My coach finally told me to stop. Suddenly she picked up a pebble and said to me, “Do you see this pebble? How long do you think it took for the big rock it started as to be grinded down to this itty-bitty pebble?” She then said, “It’s just like a diamond. You start with this huge, ugly rock. Over time, with work and help, the rock is chiseled away to become something beautiful.” She went on to explain that this is how I would master the skill. It would take time and patience, but I would get it down. Shortly after, I realized this is how our lives are. Often times, we find ourselves frustrated because we feel as though we keep failing or falling short of expectations. Yet, there is no simple answer to life. Like a diamond, our lives start confusing and sometimes ugly, but with the help and guidance of the Lord, we will uncover our own way to shine.

Let us pray.

Lord, teach me to be patient – with life, with people, and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Help me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my own, and to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan. Teach me to be patient as my life is chiseled at slowly. Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

War Eagle Fever Is…IN THE AIR!

As Coach Marshall would say, War Eagle Fever is certainly in the air as fall sports wind down and the Varsity Football Team heads to the playoffs. Last night, members of the Marist community gathered on the practice field for the annual Bonfire, an event highlighting fall sports accomplishments and building up spirit to support the Long Blue Line in the weeks to come.

War Eagle Fever is definitely IN THE AIR!!!

War Eagle Fever is definitely IN THE AIR!!!

To drum up support for activities across the Marist campus, Student Council has placed a special emphasis on building school spirit in addition to school pride this year. For the upcoming playoffs, a Spirit Banner covered in blue and gold handprints, fingerprints, and names is hanging in the cafeteria as a reminder of all the fans supporting the football team, cheerleaders, and marching band.

Wally the Wandering War Eagle stops by 7th grade Girls Chorus to spread School Spirit

Wally the Wandering War Eagle stops by 7th grade Girls Chorus to spread School Spirit

Whether it be High Five Friday to excite students before a great weekend, face paint and spirit tables at the football games, or the upcoming Wandering War Eagle Day, students have had more opportunities than ever to be involved and show their school spirit.

Wandering Wally met up with the Admissions team.

Wandering Wally met up with the Admissions team.