Slow Me Down Lord!

Let Us Remember….

That we are in the Holy Presence of God.

Earlier this September I was watching Serena Williams play a match at the US Open. During an on-court interview after a win, when asked (and I’m paraphrasing here) about how she manages her tennis, fashion business, and motherhood, she answered with a quote written by another tennis great, Billie Jean King. She said “pressure is a privilege”. For Serena the pressure of center court, and the expectations on her to win is not something she takes lightly, in fact she considers it an honor, but it is also something she does not allow to defeat her. 

Image result for clip art black girl playing tennis

Now let’s be clear, I am no Serena Williams. If you know me you no I am no athlete and if you’ve seen me you know that my wardrobe, full of hide the fat cardigans, is no match for Serena’s style and individualism. But like Serena I consider my life a privilege. 

Look, pressure or stress or anxiety, or whatever you want to call it is a constant in our lives. We will never be without it. It makes us supremely uncomfortable, causes heart palpitations, sweating, hyperventilation, tears, and a number of other physiological responses from our nervous system. We have been taught from a young age that pressure is a terrible thing. But instead of being taught how to cope we have somehow gotten the message that in order to be happy, there should be sunshine and rainbows. Always. If not we are doing something wrong. 

Image result for clip art girl with anxiety

Let’s consider the pressure we are under…

Are you the first in your family to be on a college track? 

Are the expectations high to be successful like your mother, father, sibling, etc?

Do you have to perform well at school and work a full time job because your income contributes to tuition and rent and food for your family?

Are you close with someone suffering from drug/alcohol/mental health issues? 

Do you have a mental health issue of your own? 

A learning disability? 

Relationship problems? 

Or are you simply a procrastinator, disorganized? 

How about all of the above? 

How can we stop focusing on our weaknesses, which stress us out, and focus on what we are good at? Is it as simple as saying I’m privileged to be here in this life, right now? With all the pressure that comes with it? I believe it takes owning our weaknesses but not letting them blind us to what we get right. It takes moving our weaknesses to the side or behind us. Don’t let them lead the way. Easier said than done, I know, but an honor and a privilege to even have the opportunity to try when so many others do not. 

Image result for clip art girl privileged to be alive

As we begin our testing, I’ll leave you with a final Serena quote: I just come out and do what I can.

Do what you can, try your best. It’s all that we can ask of ourselves. 

Let us pray:

Slow me down, Lord!                                                      

Ease the pounding of my heart

By the quieting of my mind.

Steady my harried pace

With a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me,

Amidst the confusions of my day,

The calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves

With the soothing music 

Of the singing streams

That live in my memory.

Remind me each day

That the race is not always won by the swift;

That there is more to life 

Than increasing its speed.

Slow me down, Lord,

And inspire me to send my roots deep

Into the soil of life’s enduring values

That I may grow toward the stars

Of our greater destiny.



St. John Baptist de La Salle. 

Pray for us…

Live Jesus in our hearts


Morning Prayer October 16, 2019 – Kristine Chapman, Social Studies Teacher

Advent and the Three Kings

Good Morning.  Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a God who loves us.

As Christmas approaches I always set up my nativity scene with the manger on one side of my living room and the Three Kings on the other side.  Each week of Advent I move the three men closer to the crèche as Christmas nears.  I have always been particularly fond of story of The Three Kings.  I mean what’s not to like, these guys roll up on their camels, blinged out in their gold chains, crowns and fur robes, carrying awesome gifts, paying for stuff straight up with gold, they are totally boss.

And while I love me some treasure, as Lasallians I call on you today to remember these men not for their riches, but as they are more appropriately referred to, as wise men.  In the Gospel of Matthew we hear that these men follow the star that was prophesied until it stopped over the place where the child was.  To achieve such a journey at the time of Jesus, these had to be men of education.  They were researchers, scribes, scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, philosophers, mapmakers, and world travelers.  These were clearly men devoted to knowledge.  But there is so much more to understanding what truly makes them wise.

Free Three Kings Images, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip ...

Picture it, after a journey of thousands of miles over rough terrain, these men of royal birth arrive in search of the King of Kings.  They find him not in a castle or a five star hotel, but away in a manger.  The great entourage of the Christ Child, his scared parents, away from their home in a land they did not know well, a few poor shepherds and their animals.  Was this the great King of the world, was this what had been prophesized?  The wealthy kings from the East may have easily dismissed these commoners, scoffed at their lower station, and took their gifts and head home.

But we know how the story ends.  They do not leave or even look down upon this lowly group.  No quite the opposite, they humble themselves, prostrate themselves and offer their gifts in worship to this poor infant child lying in the hay. Here in the manager, the rich and the poor, the powerful and meek, people of all different backgrounds and faith experiences come together in the love of our Lord, who is love itself.

Nativity picture of baby jesus in a manger clipart image ...

Matthews Gospel says that having paid homage to the child and presenting their gifts, that the Wise men were told in a dream to not return to the land of Herod, but to return home another way.  And yes another way could means a different route, but I believe there is more to it.  Having encountered Jesus, the wise men went home another way, their lives changed forever.  They give up their fortunes and gifts to the Lord.  They turn away from evil and darkness.  And live their lives another way.

Be INSPIRED!...: The three wise men: What made them wise?

It is no coincidence that one of our most important symbols in Lasallians culture is a star, modeled after the one that led these wise men to Jesus.  Isn’t their story, our story as well?  We too are called to encounter Jesus and to stand with the poor and marginalized, this will change your life, you will learn to travel the journey of life another way, a way closer to God and in service to all your brothers and sisters of the world.  You will value education and knowledge and use that power to serve the least among us breaking cycles of poverty and injustice.   Despite our differences we come together with people unlike ourselves to give our gifts in service to the Lord and our community.  And in our service to the seemingly insignificant we are strengthened in our faith and zeal to follow in love of Jesus Christ.  Together we seek God and it is together that we find him.  Sounds pretty wise to me.

Need service hours?

Let us Pray,

Dear Lord, Help us through this advent to travel another way, a way that reflects your unconditional love for all the world.  Everything I am today is a gift from you.  Everything I can be tomorrow is my gift to myself.

Morning Prayer:  Brian Ciccone, Admissions Counselor; Social Studies Teacher