Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Month of May done The Little Way

So it's been an octave or two since I've last fact, Father informed me today that it is the FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER. Also, that it is MAY. WHAT?Where did last month go??

Oh, right. I was in Puerto Rico. And had a birthday. And went on a week long retreat. I've included a pic from my birthday winetasting celebration of me and my faithful friend in blogging to commemorate another great birthday!

I know I've shared alot this year about my retreats with the students: 2 sophomore retreats, 2 senior retreats, and 2 Kairos retreats! Plus, my own annual retreat that I made with friends and my spiritual director...that's alot of retreats for 9 months! But this past Kairos retreat was really special. It was the first one ever for our high school (the one I attended with some of our students at the end of '11 was with another high school so that we could learn and then bring it to our kids...) and the six student leaders for this first retreat were exceptional. I've worked with a lot of teenagers over my past 9 years or so of youth ministry since college, so that is really saying something.

Since I have been on SO many retreats and to so many ministry Workcamps, mission trips, etc, etc in  my day, I have to always remind myself: for these kids it's possibly their FIRST real "God experience". And those first experiences are priceless. I still hold onto special youth group memories that carried me to where I am today spiritually.

Which made me kind of envious of these students. They have so much to look forward to as many of them will be leaving for college, just beginning their adult journeys. I've been navigating mine for like 13 years...gah! 

And don't get me wrong, you could not pay me to be 18 again (okay, maybe I'd take it...) but it's just more the wondering what else God could possibly have in store for me, and I've been wondering this now for the past year or so.

God has confirmed for me that I will be staying at the high school for another year and finishing grad school in May of 2013. That's the plan, but who knows what else this year #31 could hold? 

I'm teaching a unit on holiness to my sophomores which seems silly because isn't it ALL about holiness?? But we are looking at specific Catholic saints and their spiritualities. Of course, I've picked some of my favorites: Ignatius and Therese. In my own prayer, I've been trying my best to stick to some form of the Spiritual Exercises as per my commitment back in Lent. And it definitely came in handy when I was discerning if God was calling me to stay put or make a change recently...

but Therese kind of hit me out of nowhere recently as she is known to do :) We are reading excerpts from Story of a Soul and I have the kids discuss with me her image of making Jesus' arms her "elevator" so she doesn't have to climb the "stairs of perfection." The kids usually think it's pretty weird and don't really get it, but the idea is we have to make ourselves small, like children, and let Jesus carry us. I like that image. Plus, I am also LAZY. 

At first, as I was thinking about all of this during my prayer today, I was mad that I had once again let school infiltrate my personal prayer time. But then I let this image guide me personally. I tend to let Jesus carry me only while I am kicking and screaming. And if I were to imagine myself as a "child" as Therese does, I really only see myself as an infant crawling rather than the energetic toddler running around as it enjoys it's new-found legs.

In fact, as I was praying, a couple brought 3 of their children into Adoration. The oldest girl, tried to be a "big girl" and fold her hands and kneel before the Eucharist. The boy was crying in the back, and the youngest girl was full of energy and joy and ran up to the rail just squealing. I'm usually probably more like the boy in the back kicking and screaming or the older girl trying to appear perfect and pretty before God. But I feel like St Therese is the little toddler running and squealing with joy and she definitely was the one that made me smile most (yes, children make me SMILE these days! My heart of stone is slowly chipping...)

And so I was grateful to have that moment of prayer that even though it may have started with thoughts of school, led to a personal reflection that I can hopefully carry with me this month.

In this spirit of being "like a child" I have decided to do a novena to the Blessed Mother in honor of this and Mother's Day next week. You can join me if you want! I'm saying a Memorare each day until Mother's Day.  Using the Memorare prayer as a novena was something I did back in college once to draw me closer to Mary and it WORKED so I'm looking for just some confirmation from Our Lady that I'm on the right track once again.

Oh, also, I have to leave you with this just because it's me and it's May and I'm a huge nerd/Nsync fan...

It's gonna be May indeed...


1 comment:

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Love you! Cant wait to pray together again in just a few weeks...