(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 8 October 2015)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
It is funny how certain foods and textures evoke memories and emotions. My grandmother used to keep Peppermint Patties in her freezer. While many argue that these circles of dark chocolate coated mint are not high on their list of favorites, I submit that frozen, they are one of the best tasting sweets of all time. This opinion, however is based heavily on my memories of and my love for my grandmother, who passed away in the April of my Senior year at La Salle.
I used to go over her house every day. Frequently some or all of my brothers would tag along and we would cross the street and trudge up the block to her small but inviting apartment. She would tell us stories from the past or teach us card games. Each visit, the moment would inevitably come when one of us would make our way to the freezer. Pulling open the door, we would reach through the escaping frost and pull forth the old Newport Creamery Container, brimming not with ice cream, but with Peppermint Patties frozen to perfection. But woe to the grandchild who neglected to ask before taking a piece.
“What do you think you are doing?” Our grandmother would say. Sheepishly, we would approach her Lazy Boy recliner and apologize. Then she would look at us and lovingly respond, “You know that you can have anything I have. Anything at all. But you have to ask.”
Sure, I knew that I could have as much candy as I wanted at my grandmother’s house. So what was the big deal? Why did I have to ask if I already knew the answer was “yes?” Asking. A seemingly simple task, yet with such broad implications in life. It all has to do with entitlement.
Increasingly, it seems people walk around with a sense of “being owed” something. But if we go through life taking, and taking, and taking, from others without asking we become self-centered me-monsters craving that which we feel we deserve simply because we exist. Unfortunately, we have come to confuse our American ideal of freedom with entitlement. But unlike what our culture tells us, freedom is not the right to do whatever we please as long as we don’t harm others, freedom is a responsibility. I know, sounds crazy, right? But it is true. Freedom is a responsibility. For example – you have the freedom to get an education…in order to do something to better your life and in turn the lives of others.
Don’t believe me? How about a quote from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” But don’t think Peter Parker was the first to hear this sentiment, it was taken from The Gospel of Luke: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Let us pray,
in a society where freedom has evolved into entitlement, help us to use only what we need, and to not take for granted that which we are blessed to have. Help us to use our freedom wisely. Help us to always ask.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.
Emily McLean–English Teacher