February 11, 2016
Prayer by Mrs. Kelly Mandy, Science Department
You may have noticed it snowing this past Tuesday. I knew it was snowing because my students came running into my classroom and went right to the windows and stared at the snow as if they had never seen snow before. Seeing my students mesmerized by the snow led me to think about other times when I had seen students mesmerized by nature.
When I took a group of students to Alaska and we were lucky enough to see a glacier calve and fall into the ocean. They were mesmerized. When I took students to Costa Rica and we released baby leatherback turtles and watched their little bodies crawl across the sand into the vast ocean. They were mesmerized.
These memories then led me to a question I heard asked on a radio program I was listening to…the question was “Who will stand up for nature”?
That question has made me pause because I realized that nature has no voice. The ocean has no say about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is the size of Texas. The Brazilian Rain Forest has no say in the bulldozer that blazes through it every day to make room for palm oil trees. The Orangutan has no say in the destruction of habitat due to illegal logging of its home. West Nancy Creek has no say in the trash that flows into it on a daily basis.
So who will stand up for nature? Who will give a voice to the voiceless? Is it you? If so, how do you know? You know by the choices you make every day. Do you choose to turn the water off while you brush your teeth? Do you choose to use a refillable water bottle instead of a plastic one? Do you choose to take the time to sort your lunch trash so it doesn’t all end up in a landfill? Do you stand up for nature? And if your answer is “no”, then the question becomes “Will you”?
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, we ask that you show us the way in how to love, respect and care for the wonders that you have given us in Earth, our home. Help us to be better stewards of your gifts. Show us how to give a voice to the trees, the waters and the animals that have no voice. Empower us to stand up for nature.
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.
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.
Spanish Club celebrated el Día de Los Reyes with an authentic Spanish tapas experience. Students and faculty enjoyed some hand-carved jamón serrano with special Spanish cheeses like queso manchego and queso ibérico. As an accompaniment, the tapas included olivas and pan con tomate, made with an authentic Barcelona recipe! It was a great chance to try a typical snack from Spain and a wonderful way to celebrate Spanish culture and The Epiphany together. Spanish students also enjoyed a traditional roscón de reyes (Three Kings Bread) while learning about how this day is celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries!
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
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,
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.
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.”
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.