Educating for the Lived Gospel #251

Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. (Ps 68:19)

We believe that God is always with us. When life is a struggle we can cry to God about our difficulties. Are we sufficiently open-hearted to be aware of the seemingly-hidden graces that are present each day, each moment of our lives? As Shakespeare said, there’s the rub. Whether in joy or difficulty, God is with us. One perspective upon ‘God is our salvation’ is since God is present in everyone and everything we need each person, each relationship to enrich us and save us.

Our young people appreciate an ‘attitude of gratitude’. Such an attitude speaks of appreciating each moment, each person in their lives and is akin to mindfulness. Such gratitude also values the very real way in which our lives are filled by angels – people who do God’s work – by lifting us up when life weighs us down.

Have a great week!
Patrick

PS A reminder that you can order copies of my new book of reflections Guided into the truth here. All royalties go to St Maria Mazzarello School in Venilale, Timor-Leste

Educating for the Lived Gospel #250

On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul. (Psalm 138:3)

This cry of the heart aptly describes the human condition – being in need. The strength we ask for is not physical but strength to ‘deal’ with what life throws at us – strength of soul. If you ask and keep asking and are never answered, you’re likely to give up. The fact that you’re reading this means that you have felt ‘answered’ or have not lost hope. My prayer is that you continue to feel strengthened by our God.

As we renew our ministry with young people, there are any number of reasons why they would want to feel strengthened: dealing with family or friends, the demands of study or their own ’stuff’. The need is there. We can share our experience of being strengthened and/or supply them with opportunities to ask for strength. An answer is a prayer away.

Have a great week…and term!
Patrick

For educators

We journey together.

Our task

For those in our care

Is to point the way.

This can be a daunting prospect

Through our own stumbles

Or uncertainty.

We must remember

The focus is Love

The One who is love

Who loved each of us

Into being.

If we journey

With love

In love

Attending to each image of Love

We find that

The journey

And destination

Are One

Sliver

When we think

Of the moon

It is likely to be

In its radiant fullness

Which can provide

So much light

On a clear evening.

Today

The moon

Revealed

A shy sliver

As it rose

Against the early morning sky

The sliver

Was orange

Reflecting

The not-yet-risen sun

Such a sliver

Speaks to me

The most.

Ethereal

Achingly beautiful.

 

Moments pass

I want to experience

that beauty

again

but

somehow

in a clear sky

the moon is invisible

Shy?

Just waiting

The right moment

To next reveal

Another side

Of your glory

Educating for the Lived Gospel #249

When Jesus realised that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15)

Clearly, Jesus does not subscribe to the dictum ‘no publicity is bad publicity’. As he says later in John’s Gospel his ‘kingdom is not of this world’. He eschews personal fame because he is doing his Father’s will and works. Jesus’ antidote to the lure of fame is to seek solitude – inferring that he would pray. This passage makes me wonder, ‘how easily am I seduced by fame?’

In an interconnected world that feeds and is fed by social media, young people can see being ‘liked’ as crucial. Yet we see again and again how celebrities are ‘burned’ by the bright lights – in one way or another. We do well to encourage the young people in our care to discover and use their God-given gifts and be true to themselves. In so doing they will be doing God’s will. There is nothing wrong with fame that comes from goodness, but fame is not an end in itself.

Have a great week…and break!
Patrick

Day’s end

Eyes closed

Man snuggled

Against woman

Against wall

Of the train carriage

Arm of one placed

Lovingly

Around the other

 

Long day

hard work

A study in

shared fatigue

At day’s end