(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 26 October 2018)
Good morning La Salle and De La Salle.
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
We began this week with morning prayer reflecting on some amazing saints, Saint John Paul II and Saint Oscar Romero. As we end the week (and the first quarter of the school year), I would like to share a story that continues with that theme and actually centers around our own founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle.
On Monday afternoon, my son Kallan had his 3rd grade faith formation gathering at one of our local parishes. When I went back to pick him up at 5pm, I noticed Kallan had a piece of paper with him and I asked him what they learned in class. He told me that they learned about saints and that each child randomly picked a saint card to read and then complete the accompanying worksheet. His eyes lit up as he showed me the saint he randomly received, sure enough, our very own Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Hopefully you are viewing that image right now in homeroom (I must say, his drawing of our founder is not too shabby either!)
He told me that he got it by accident, and what he meant was that is was simply a coincidence…However, I believe that while ordinary coincidences may in fact occur, I have come to find that those same coincidences are often-times God-incidences in disguise. Kallan went on to inform me that he shares the same birthday as our founder, April 30 (different years of course). Quite a coincidence indeed…
During that faith formation session, Father Dave had asked the children, “What does it mean to be a saint?” I was not only proud of Kallan for answering Father Dave in a room of over 60 of his peers, but I was also extremely humbled by his response. Kallan’s definition of a saint is as follows: “someone who loves God.” I was struck by the wisdom of his response, in all its simplicity and clarity.
St Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that “all things work for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
Sometimes it is hard to see how things will work out for the good and it can be equally challenging to see how the coincidences we experience may in fact be God speaking to us in our everyday lives.
I believe that’s what sets the saints apart, their recognition and acceptance of the fact that God loves us beyond measure and is very much at work in the minutiae of our everyday lives. And because of this, the only proper response is to love God back in return, through love and service to our neighbors, whether those neighbors reside in Krakow or El Salvador, Reims or Rhode Island.
So I guess the question for me to ponder today is this, “Do I love God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my being?” And if so, do I demonstrate that love for God by loving and serving my neighbors?
Let us pray…
Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of the holy men and women who shine your light and love into this world reminding us of your great love for each and every one of us. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity each and every day to love you in return by placing the needs of our fellows ahead of our own desires. Help us to see Your merciful hand at work in the coincidences and events of our own lives, and to remember that all things work for the good when we trust in your great love for us.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.
Anthony Russo–Campus Minister