Sunday, June 8, 2014

All things are possible . . .

Mark 9:23.  All things are possible to Him who believes.  The only way I can do it is with His help.  Otherwise I would be doomed to failure. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reaching Back

. . . I feel myself reaching back to me.  I am feeling that the future me, passed on, is reaching back to me, from eternity . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Your Spirit Leads Me

Spring Break.
Missionaries Of The Poor Bethlehem Center.
Kingston, Jamaica.

Your Spirit leads me on by the power of Your love. 
- sung this morning at Mass

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Heaven On Earth And Hell On Earth

Spring Break.
Missionaries Of The Poor.  
Mount Tabor, Jamaica. 

Sin is a taste of Hell.  Confession is a taste of Heaven.
- Fr. Vincente Salam, M.O.P.

The more you give, the more you receive.  Be the compassion of the Lord towards others.
- Fr. Vincente Salam, M.O.P. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Spring Break.

Missionaries Of The Poor.
Kingston, Jamaica. 

Morning Homily:
Obedience is an act of faith.  Obedience is putting faith in God instead of in ourselves. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

It Becomes Much Easier

At the start and end of each schoolday, in each grade at the school where I volunteer, a student leads the rest of his or her class in prayer.  My blog entry for today concerns such a student-led prayer.

Last week, a student got up and read a short prayer reminding us that God is always there to help us.  When I heard this prayer, I thought of one particular student in the class who has been having a difficult time as of late.  That particular student is constantly exposed to role models outside of school who encourage wayward behavior.  Given that some of the very people in this student's personal life who should be demonstrating proper behavior are instead showing that student poor examples of how to behave, I found this prayer quite appropriate for this student to hear.  When other people in our lives fall short and consequently disappoint us, we should remember that God always remains waiting for us to ask Him for help.  I hope that this student was cheered by this spiritual reminder.

It's easy to get and remain downtrodden.  It also becomes much easier when we turn to, and rely on, God for the grace and the strength we need to do His will.  May we all call upon Him everyday. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

School Highlights From January

No, the title of this blog entry is not a mistake.  I do not mean February; I do indeed mean January.  I have been busy as usual with teaching.  While I had envisioned blogging more than I have been, the realities of life are that other responsibilities are more pressing.  So be it.

A couple of experiences stand out from school last month.  Both are spiritual.

A few days after Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, we went to Mass together as a school.  During the service, the priest talked about how someone once said that he didn't want to be remembered because he had won certain awards.  He didn't want to be remembered for the Nobel Prize he had won.  He said he wanted to be remembered for having lived a life of love.  Then the priest said that the person who had said that was Dr. Martin Luther King.  I thought that I aspire to live a life full of, expressing, exhibiting, reflecting love.  I hope I will be remembered for having lived a life in which I have loved. 

Also in January, one of my students in the 7th grade started coming up to me and to other teachers on separate occasions and showed us prayers in a prayer book she has started reading.  The first time she read to me out of it, she pointed to this precious prayer:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, 

To thee do we send up our sighs, 
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate, 

thine eyes of mercy toward us, 
And after this our exile, 
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, 
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Much earlier in the school year, when this same student saw other children ripping leaves off of a tree, she asked me, "Why are they treating that tree that way?  Don't they understand it's part of God's creation?"  

I do grant that I have not been teaching and tutoring that long.  However, in the time I have been teaching, I have not been aware of such love of God and Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ and God's creation.  I know that such students are rare and are treasures.  I am thankful to be in the presence of this student. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Second Day In A Row

Today the school didn't open because of extreme cold.  Meteorologists predicted that the high temperature today here in Chicago would be 9 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Tomorrow the school again will not open.  The weather men and women are forecasting that the high temperature in the city tomorrow will be 5 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, with the wind expected to be blowing between 15 to 20 mph, and with gusts of up to 30 mph, with the wind chill, it could feel as cold as 39 below.

Last week and this past weekend it was snowing.  Now it's not snowing, but there's a small chance it might snow on Wednesday as well as on Thursday. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow Day! Or Something A Lot Like It

We've been on Christmas Break since the last day of school of the first trimester, which was December 11.  The first day back to school, the first day of the second trimester, originally was supposed to be tomorrow, January 6.

I found out earlier this afternoon that school has been cancelled for tomorrow because of extreme cold.  It's forecast to be 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit during the day tomorrow.  With the wind predicted to be blowing between 20 to 30 mph, with the wind chill, it could feel like 35 below to 45 below. 

To give a little more detail about the meteorological picture here in Chicago, it snowed non-stop for two days here last week.  It started snowing again yesterday afternoon.  The wind has been blowing, so snow drifts have been developing. 

And to round out the situation from more personal perspectives, I saw one of the school's coaches last week.  When he mentioned that school might be cancelled tomorrow because of the extreme cold, he added that some kids have told him that they're impatient to get back to school!  He explained that he thinks that they miss the sense of community with the other pupils and the teachers and staff of the school.  Despite the challenges I continue to face as a teacher, I am grateful to be part of such a loving and caring school community.  Something to keep in mind as I watch the snow fall on this midwestern winter day.