Cultivate Gratitude in Your Life

Morning Prayer:
November 13, 2017
Prayer by Fr. Harhager, S.M., President

This is the final week of the first term. So, I know this can be a time of stress as we rush to complete our projects, prepare for and then take the end-of-term exams.

 At the same time, Thanksgiving is near. If there was such a thing, we would be in the midst of the Thanksgiving Season. It reminds me of a talk I heard many years ago – when I was in Rome the first time.

 I attended a talk by a priest psychiatrist who spent most of his life treating people, including priests and religious, with serious mental health issues. After the talk, he opened the floor to questions. I don’t remember anything else from this talk except for his answer to the question: Can you identify a single element in troubled people’s lives which may be responsible for their mental/emotional illness? He said that, without a doubt, the one element missing in these people’s lives is a sense of gratitude. He said, if you want to stay healthy – cultivate gratitude in your life.

 Being grateful – helps us beat stress, softens the sad moments, enables us to say “goodbye”, reroutes our angry energy, moves us away from envy, etc. Gratitude will not only help us enjoy our family gatherings next week but may even help us get through this week.

 And so we turn to St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians (4:6-7):

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 Let us pray:

Loving Father,

with grateful hearts we turn to you.

You are the source of all the good things we experience in our lives.

Help us to remain serene this week

so that our work these days may truly reflect

the profound fruit of Your love for us.

Fill our hearts with gratitude

now and forever and ever. Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom… pray for us.

Dodgeballs of Life

Morning Prayer:
November 8, 2017
Prayer by Ms. Julie Anderson, Science Department

Imagine for a moment that you are playing dodgeball and someone suddenly hurls a ball towards your head. When the dodgeballs of life hit us, what do we do? We put our arms up; we try to stop it on our own. We turn in on ourselves and we try to survive. And when we do that, we tend to put God in a box that we only open at certain times. Maybe we only let him in when life is good, or we have enough time because we aren’t stressed out. Or maybe we only open that box after we try everything ourselves, when we are bruised all over and have nothing left. Maybe we only have him in the Sunday morning, ‘why is it so early? Lord, I hate dress clothes’ box. But he wants to be with you in each moment. Each success, each failure, each painful memory, each boring class you have to sit through. And he wants to show you what it means that he is your Father. If we let Him, He will be with us as we go through the tough stuff. And he will bring us peace, because instead of all the stress and grumpiness and garbage, we have someone to give it all to as we walk along. And God’s not in some far off Heaven. He’s here – he never left. Jesus is in the Eucharist at Mass, He’s in our Churches, but he’s also in our schools, streets, cars, and shops because he is in each and every one of us. We just have to let him become part of our lives.

So today as we go through our day here at Marist let us be reminded that God is always there waiting and ready to love and support us on our journey.

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

God, today we ask you to be Our Father. So often we try to go through life on our own, believing that we have to deal with everything ourselves. Help us to see in a new way today your love for each of us, and that you want to be a part of each of our lives. And let us be your children, especially to those suffering or who do not know you.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary, our mother, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

All That Lies Inbetween

Morning Prayer:
October 23, 2017
Prayer by Fr. Konzen, S.M., Principal

Good morning.  Yesterday I spent some time talking by phone to someone I knew growing up in Ohio.  Her family and our family were friends, and I regularly served Mass with the guy who became her husband.  Their story is unique.  They went to the prom with each other as seniors and, after that, went their separate ways for 20 years or so, neither marrying, and then met up at a wedding and decided to start dating, both in their late 30’s and having known each other all their lives.  I was there in 1988 to officiate at their wedding.  About a month ago, Doug had a stroke, out of the blue, and he never recovered.  He was buried this past week.  So, in talking to his wife yesterday, she said, “I guess we didn’t talk about this possibility when we were getting ready to be married.”  And I said, “No, we talked about the meaning of ‘all the days of my life’ and ‘until death do us part,’ but we didn’t imagine scenarios in which a spouse dies and the other is left to carry on.”

I contrast that with the wildly exuberant display I saw at the end of the football game Friday night against Blessed Trinity, when there was this tide of students rushing onto the field, and congratulations for the team, and everyone singing the Alma Mater in a state of euphoria.  These are the diverse components that make up our lives.  We adults like to see that young people have more of those really happy moments than the really sad moments, but the trip to becoming an adult is about making room for the full range of human experience and knowing how, using our faith, to make as much sense as we can of the big up’s and the big down’s in our lives and all that lies in between.  We would like to hang onto the high’s and to rule out the low’s, but we know it’s not realistic.  We embrace them both as part of our experience as Christians, as part of the life of Christ that we say we have taken on when we were baptized, confirmed, and fed on or brought into the Body of Christ.

An Italian writer, Carlo Carretto, captured these alternating feelings in a prayer that offers a way to see them both as part of our faith and a way to make room for them both in our lives, and here is the prayer:

In the name…   My Lord Jesus Christ, two graces I beg you to grant me before I die:

the first is that in my lifetime I may feel that sorrow that you underwent

in the hour of your blessed and generous passion;

the second is that I may feel in my heart the greatness of love

that you, the Son of God, had for all in the world and that

allowed you to undergo the sacrifice you offered for us sinners.

And now, praying for the soul of Douglas Palmer and for his wife Marilyn, I add to the Carretto prayer:  Help us, O God, to be your servant in the best of times and in the worst of times and to praise your goodness when we are awash in it and when we are barely aware of it—you who want our eternal happiness and offer us Jesus Christ to lead the way to that happiness.  It is in his name we pray today.  Amen.

El Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration

El Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration

Wednesday, October 25, 7 p.m., Bishop Gunn Art Gallery

Families will enjoy the Marist altar, authentic Mexican food, as well as the delightful sounds of Willie Ziavino & the C.O.T. Band

Dating back to pre-Columbian cultures, El Día de los Muertos is the Mexican tradition of respecting and honoring the lives of loved ones who have passed away. It is an integration of Aztec practices and the Catholic feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. El Día de los Muertos is a joyous celebration of the departed through food, drink, song, and art held annually October 31 through November 2.

The most recognized symbols of El Día de los Muertos are the playful calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls). These are not scary ghouls, but vibrant figures representing the sweetness of life. The most infamous calaca is Catrina. Derived from the satirical etchings of political cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), Catrina has become an icon of the holiday.

This exhibit is a collaboration of Centro Hispano, Consulate General of Mexico, the Fine Arts Department, Marist Arts Guild (MAG), the Office of Inclusion & Diversity, the Spanish Department, the MOSAIC student club, and Marist Staff Josephina Mora.

In Pursuit of Magic

Show time! Marist theater presents…In Pursuit of Magic

Thursday and Saturday, October 26 & 28, 7:30 p.m.

Our own Marist Theater, with the support of the award-winning Serenbe Playhouse, has created a thrilling and chilling evening of theater for the Halloween season!

The show is an exploration of some of the darker aspects of human nature, and will be presented at various sites around campus.  Yes, it’s all outdoors.

Each of the seven stories is inspired by literature that is studied at some point in our students’ career here:  Hamlet, Red Badge of Courage, Life of Pi, Lord of the Flies, Princess and the Tiger, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and 1984.

Here are a few important points that will help you enjoy your experience:

  • We will perform rain or shine, outdoors at all times. • Please dress for the weather.
  • The experience will last for about an hour, with no intermission.
  • Our show will take place in a variety of locations on campus, all within the same general area. You will always be walking on concrete, but please wear appropriate footwear.
  • Please gather on the large staircase off the Flag Circle by 7:30 p.m.
  • Restrooms are available in the lobby of Woodruff Auditorium. We recommend that you visit them before the show begins.
  • There will be gunshots, screams, and ghosts in our show. Be prepared.
  • PLEASE JOIN US IN COSTUME! We would love to see your favorite characters from literature, but cool Halloween-wear will be awesome, too!
  • Our show is an immersive one: you are within the action, and, at times, may be called upon to be a part of the action. Take your cues from the actors…they’ll guide your way.

Come one, come all, and help us create a chilling new first for Marist Theater! Tickets on sale at the Campus Store.

Audience: Rated PG-13. This will not be a “cute” Halloween story!

Kindness Always Matter

Morning Prayer:
October 24, 2017

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and so here at Marist we are marking this important topic with Kindness Rocks Week. We choose to focus on the positive during this week because if everyone is being kind, then bullying isn’t an issue. In my years being a human on this planet, I know that even though being kind sounds easy, it often is not. Since we are all imperfect, things like jealousy, insecurity, and fear often get in our way and keep us from being the person God wants us to be.

I am blessed and cursed with a good memory. For example, I remember the time when I walked away from a friend in junior high school in order to join a group that I thought was cooler. I remember how much I’d hurt her. And I remember at prom gathering all of my girlfriends for a group picture. Except for one girl that I didn’t get along with at the time. No one said anything. We stood there posing and smiling, and then she walked up and saw it happening without her. I will never forget the look on her face.

And it’s good that I remember, because it motivates me to be a kinder person.
So, I ask you today and every day to try harder. To be better. To include. To choose NOT to spread the rumor. To keep your mouth shut if you don’t have anything nice to say. Because here is the thing. There are lots of times in life when our effort doesn’t pay off. Sometimes you study and study, but you don’t get the grade you wanted. Or you train hard, but don’t make the team or reach your goal. But with kindness, your effort pays always pays off.

Kindness always matters.

Let us pray.

Dear God –
Please help us to be better disciples of your love and kindness. Help us to resist the temptation to hurt others. Help us to reach out to those around us. To say a kind word, hold a door, stop to help, and to apologize when we need to. Help us to see the difference we can make in someone’s life by being better humans. Please give us the self-awareness and strength to do this, and to do better because we know better.
Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us.

Marist is home…

Morning Prayer:

October 13, 2017

Prayer by Sydney ’18

 

Homecoming. For us students, homecoming is a time full of excitement. Our school spirit is at an all-time high with how amazing our athletic teams are doing, and everyone is looking forward to Saturday night’s dance. With so much happening around us, it’s easy to miss what the true meaning behind homecoming is. Homecoming is when Marist invites all Alumni back to campus to celebrate them being, well, back home.

 

The place we go back to at the end of every day is not our only home. A home is where the heart is, whereever you are surrounded by people who love you, care for you, and want you to succeed. A place where you are celebrated for being who you are and have people around you to support you and push you to be the best version of yourself.

 

Whether you want to admit it or not, Marist is your home. It was your home the moment you stepped on campus for the very first time as a nervous new kid and will continue to be your home long after you cross the stage at graduation.

 

Seniors, this is our last homecoming football game and dance before we become Alumni ourselves. The people sitting next to you right now, the friends you’ve grown close to over these past six years, and the teachers who have challenged you and shaped your minds and your hearts are your family and Marist is, and will always be, your home.

 

Junior, Sophomores, Freshman, and 7th and 8th graders – It is up to you to keep the Marist Family movement alive in the upcoming years. This is your home; cherish the amazing time you have left.

 

We, the students, the teachers, the faculty, and the alumni who came before us – are all One Family, One Body, One Marist.

 

Let us pray-

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

 

We thank you for the gift of home. Thank you for blessing us with people who love us and care for us. We ask that you watch over those without homes whether that is a place to sleep at night or a community of people who care for them. Help us to use our school spirit to make everyone who steps on our campus feel like they are a part of something special – one family, one body, one Marist.

 

Amen

 

Mary Seat of Wisdom

Pray for Us

Two Possible Worlds – what will you choose?

Morning Prayer:
October 2, 2017
Prayer by Mr. Stephen Lorys, Science Department

Two possible worlds:

Once upon a time, someone was hurt, lonely, and in despair.  And everyone else was so busy putting themselves first, that no one cared enough to do anything about it.  The End.

Or…

Once upon a time, someone was hurt, lonely, and in despair.  So Jesus came to Earth to show us how to fix that by taking care of each other.  And while the world didn’t live happily ever after then, at least there was a way forward to less hurt, loneliness, and despair; so that maybe one day we COULD live happily ever after. The End.

Tell me which of these worlds you would rather be living in.  Better yet, show me.

We pray with St Theresa of Avila:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

AMEN!

Mary, Sedes Sapientiae, pray for us.