It’s time for back-to-school. We are overloaded with preparation, scheduling, planning. We have goals and hopes for the academic year. Dear Jesus, In all the flurry of change and excitement, help me not forget the reason for it all.
To Know, Love, and Serve God
The very beginning of the Baltimore Catechism reminds me that I was created to know, love and serve You in this life, and be with You in the next. As I reflect on this, I see that academic knowledge is good in as far as it leads my children to further knowledge of you. I must help them to know You directly, by teaching them religion, and indirectly by teaching them other subjects that help them relate to the world around them, Your creation.
Reading opens the door to exploration, imagination, and especially to Holy Scripture. Math reveals the beauty of order and logic in the world. Science exposes the grandness of Your design, Your great Divine Providence in creating all things to work together for good. History conveys the effects of lives lived virtuously, and not so virtuously – and the reality of consequence of our actions. The arts provide a way to experience and appreciate Your creativity and beauty. I must remember, my God, it doesn’t matter so much that my children learn the specific knowledge in each lesson, but that they are learning and opening their minds to experiencing You more fully through the gift of knowledge.
God, help me learn so I may know You better; help me know You so I may love You more; help me love You so that I may serve you, help me serve You that I may be with You in Heaven someday. Amen!
The Vocation of a Child
My Jesus, help me also to foster my children’s vocations. Sometimes I get caught up in the thought that a “vocation” is what they will grow up to do someday, the three options: married, single, religious. Let me not forget, Jesus, that our vocation is our call to achieve holiness in the particular state of life we are given right now; to do our best at every task of life to give You greater glory!
For me, this means not only just loving my husband and children and treating them right but also joyfully doing the laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, teaching, praying, and everything that is required of me as a wife and mom. I must seek holiness in the little things, to continuously strive to live virtuously.
For my children, living their vocation means so much more than just wanting to be a parent or a priest or nun when they grow up. It means learning obedience as a son or daughter, learning friendship and kindness as a brother or sister, growing in all the virtues which they are called to right now. Being a child is their vocation! Being a student is also part of their vocation; learning is the work required of them. I must foster the attitude of joyfully doing their best at whatever tasks life calls them to do, because that is what it takes to live our vocation well, no matter what that vocation may be!
Teach by Example
Let me remember, my God, that as parents, my husband and I are the primary educators of our children. In giving us these children, You gave us the responsibility to direct their education. Give me the fortitude to attend to every aspect of my children’s education: religious, academic, artistic, social, and most importantly in cultivating a deep and personal relationship with You.
I know that the best way to teach is by example; help me to renew my own desire for education, especially in the knowledge of and love for You. I resolve now to deepen my relationship with You. Before I go to bed tonight, I will choose one way in which to know You more every day – whether by reading scripture or a particular spiritual book, or by designating times to pause and talk to You throughout the day. My God, please inspire me to choose something that will help me draw closer to You!
Bless All Students, Amen
Dear Jesus, guide us in our journey back-to-school. Help me encourage education as a discovery of You, and an opportunity to know You more. Help me foster my children’s vocations as sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, students, learners, and children of You my God. Help me model growth in knowledge of You and relationship with You. Bless our school year and our family. Bless all students. Amen!
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