Monday, February 23, 2015

Abundant Mercy

Psalm 51 has stayed with me since I listened to the daily podcast on on Friday. I love listening to this podcast as I get ready in the morning.  The songs and reflections frequently help me center myself in God as I begin the day.  On Friday, I was struck by two phrases from this Psalm: "have mercy on me" and "abundant mercy."  After listening to the opening song and hearing the psalm read aloud, I felt a desire for God's mercy, for healing in those places in my heart where I don't let God's light shine.  And as I continued to reflect on this desire for God's compassionate mercy, I realized that God always offers us this mercy.  God has already heaped mercy upon us through Jesus' death and resurrection.  God's abundant mercy and compassion are already ours.  But often, I don't recognize this.  Sometimes I don't allow myself to experience the freedom that this mercy offers.  Why are there times when this mercy is hard for me to accept? This is a question that I want to continue to explore during Lent.  I want to use this time of Lent to really look into my heart and find those places where I can let go of my ways and let God's abundant mercy in.

I encourage you to check out Pray-as-you-go. You can download their app, subscribe to the podcast on your iPhone/iPad, or go straight to the website. I appreciate the prayerful reflections and have found some great music to use for prayer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Invitation of Lent: moving beyond

It's Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent! Here's a quick video about Ash Wednesday and Lent that I showed in class: 

Lent is an invitation into awareness of our relationship with God, with our communities, and with ourselves. It's a time for us to take a look at what's happening in our lives and in our hearts.  We're invited to use prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as guides on this journey of conversion back to God and to the person that God calls us to be. 

For this Lent, I'm going to be praying with a variety of resources online and sharing them with you here.  There is so much available to help us move through this time with intention and openness.  I have been quite remiss in posting on this blog, and I want to recommit to sharing my journey of faith here. 

This evening I was inspired by Fr. Greg Boyle's Thought of the Day.  At Homeboy, everyone gathers in the morning for reflection and and overview of the day.  For today's Thought of the Day, Fr. G speaks of repentance as moving beyond the mind you have.  It's about waking up our hearts so that we can become more than we already are. And this awakening is all about the choices that we make.  As I begin Lent, I'm taking this question from Fr. G into my prayer: "Where can my heart be awakened so that I can change a bit?" I pray for the grace to look into my heart with honesty to see where I can be more loving and forgiving in my thoughts and in my actions.  Perhaps, Fr. G will inspire you, too, as you enter this journey of Lent. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Queen of the Holy Rosary

Happy Feast Day!  Today Catholics celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.  In E and F blocks today, I showed this video to help us understand who we, as Catholics, believe Mary to be.

We talked about Mary and all the things that are special about her. 

In praying the Rosary, we walk with Mary through important moments in Jesus' life and ministry. 
We also believe that she takes our prayers to Jesus and to God.
Here's more on the Rosary:

I'm asking the girls to learn the Hail Mary.  Those who already know it in English are asked to learn it in another language.  There was actually quite a bit of excitement in the room as the girls looked at the list of languages: 
Girls have selected Italian, Armenian, Ukranian, Croatian, Cantonese, Mandarian, Tagolog, Spanish, French, and more.  It's going to be really cool to hear all these languages.

Maybe your family could learn the prayer (for the first time or in a new language) with your daughter. 

May our Lady of the Rosary, intercede for you, holding you and your family in her heart and placing your intentions in the merciful heart of her son, Jesus.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Worldview and Globalization of Charity

What's your worldview?  What have been the most significant influences on your faith journey?

 The freshmen have been exploring these questions for the past two weeks in our second unit, "Who Am I?"  We began by thinking about how we are unique as individuals. Then, we went a step further and asked about what is a worldview.  The following chart helped us to explore three different worldviews. 

I found this chart in a unit plan on worldview from the International Education for Peace Institute. Here's a link to that unit.  This chart really aided our discussions about what constitutes a worldview.  Girls were also able to provide examples of these worldviews in action: Divergent and the Hunger Games were the most frequent examples.  One student offered Mean Girls as an example of Identity-Based Worldview.  As we talked about global politics, it was hard to find examples of Unity-Based Worldviews.  So, in another class, I asked them to explore the worldview of Pope Francis through a recent statement he made in preparation for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be honored in January 2015. 

Here is an article about his statement: "Pope Calls for 'Globalization of Charity' to Protect Migrants." The girls read the article and the statement, looking for evidence of the Pope's worldview. The full text of his message can be found here. They created Powerpoints describing the Pope's worldview in terms of the chart.  

I've been happy with the girls' engagement and critical thinking.  I want them to get a sense of their own way of viewing the world. This is not so easy because our worldview is like wearing glasses.  We use it to see the world, but often we're not aware of how it is shaping what we actually see.  Sometimes our worldviews are limiting and need expanding. Often it's great when we can bump into a worldview so completely different from our own.  It's then that our own worldview comes into focus. 

I invite you to think about your own worldview.  How has the context of your life shaped the way you see the world, others around you, and yourself?  What do you see as the ultimate purpose of life on earth?  What experiences have shaped your values, your goals, your disappointments, and your hopes?

Now the girls are on to exploring their faith journey, and they're working on a project on A few blocks have gone through a lesson on Revelation and Faith, and a couple more will do it later this week.  I introduced the girls to some advanced theology, and we had some great discussions.  Ask them about God and revelation!  Ask them about the horse picture and how it connected to God.  Here is a link to the painting by Bev Doolittle.

So that's all for now. I hope you get a chance to talk to your daughter about worldview and faith journey! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Look

It feels like I'm taking a new path in my journey as I begin teaching Religion 1 full-time this year.  I have lots of great memories from teaching Spanish 1.  Some of them you can still see on this blog.  So, it seemed appropriate to give my blog a new look and a new purpose. 

I'll be writing this blog with the parents of our frosh girls in mind.  I want you, parents, to be connected with what's happening in Religion 1, and I want to invite you to explore your own faith journeys, just as your daughters are doing.  I'll be posting my own thoughts, questions, and reflections as I, too, journey this year.  I hope this blog helps us keep communication open. I hope it inspires your own thought and reflection about your journey.  And I hope you know that it's meant for ALL of you, not just the who practice Catholic Christianity. Please leave comments and questions, and feel free to send me a message.  

I'm so excited to be your daughter's teacher and get to know her better this year.  Know that you and your families are held in my prayers.  Welcome to FSHA and our amazing TOLOG Community!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

La Vanguardia

So, I haven't posted in forever on my blog!  Wow this semester has flown by! Here are some things we've been up to in La Vanguardia.