(Prayer offered on the Public Address system and the school-wide intranet for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 30 April 2019)
Good morning, La Salle and De La Salle!
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
This has been the year of the air-pod. You know, those wireless earbuds that everyone seems to be wearing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started speaking to someone only to realize they couldn’t hear me because their air-pods were in. Hence, the meme displayed in front of you.
All this has me thinking about the importance of listening. No, not just hearing in order to figure out what to say in response, but truly, actively listening. I believe there is also the ability to listen to your life, to where you are and to where God calls you to be.
When I was a child, my maternal grandmother whom I called “Vavo” used to have the best good byes— she’d hug you hard and say something in Portuguese which loosely translates, “Pay attention, child.” As a kid, I always wondered what she meant. What did I need to pay attention to? But as I got older, I began to see the wisdom of her words—pay attention to the place and situations you find yourself in, pay attention to the people around you, pay attention to what your family and close friends are telling you, pay attention to where you experience joy, pay attention to what moves your heart. Catholics call these questions the process of discernment, that is, paying attention to how and where God moves us into action. God calls each one of us to discover where we might use our gifts and our passions in service to the world.
I often tell my students that our most important job while on this planet is to discover why God has created each one of us. There is something you and only you—with your particular interests, skills, and quirks—can do in this world. And when you do it, the world is so much better for it.
Many decades ago, when I was in high school, I thought I’d become a pediatrician. This seems funny to me now. Given my squeamishness at blood and my emotional reactions to things, I would have made a terrible doctor. But God did use the people in my life—teachers, coaches, friends, Christian Brothers—and some experiences, even some wrong turns along the way—to help me see that I contribute to the world and to God’s kingdom by being a teacher. And I give thanks for that vocation every day. That calling has filled my life with joy and purpose.
Three hundred years ago, our Founder, John Baptist de La Salle discerned his unique calling—to leave the security and comforts of clerical life, to form a small community of Brothers that would teach poor boys on the streets of Rheims, France. Because of that discernment, because he trusted in that call, the Church, the world, and indeed, you and I would never be the same.
When you pass by Campus Ministry or go to the cafeteria today, I invite you to take a look at the clock celebrating the 300 years since the passing of our Founder John Baptist de La Salle. We add a new symbol to the clock today—that of the headphones.
As you look at the symbol, take a minute to pray for the courage to listen to your own life, to ask yourself the question: Where does God call ME to be, today and in the days to come? How and in what ways does God call me to trust in him today?
Let us pray:
Spirit of God,
We experience your presence in these Spring days–days of sun, growth, and life.
Help us to pause,
To listen to your will for our lives,
To hear your desire for us in the voices of those who love us.
Give us the courage to trust in your mysterious and gracious ways
So that we can grow into becoming the men and women you created us to be.
St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!
Christine Estes–Director of Campus Ministry