Saints Speak - 2/15/2018 - Intentions and Actions
Yesterday for the first time since 1945 (73 years!), Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day fell on the very same day. While our students enjoyed their St. Valentine’s Day classroom parties and celebrations on Tuesday, the focus of Wednesday was on the beginning of Lent and Ash Wednesday, one of the most important holy days in our liturgical calendar.
The Lenten season represents a traditional time for acts of prayer, fasting, penitence and almsgiving. Penitence is necessary because of our sinfulness, regardless of how great or how small. Almsgiving, or the freely sharing of ourselves with others, is an honored way to acknowledge and place the needs of others before our own needs.
For most older, more seasoned Catholics (like myself), the first thought that Lent brings to mind is giving something up; oftentimes this would be things like candy, sweets, or chocolate. I even once tried to give up coffee; I was not very successful .
I would like to share a recent homily I heard about Lent that was quite funny. The presider talked about giving up his ‘three favorite foods’ for Lent (in alphabetical order): Anchovies, Cauliflower, and Tofu. While we all laughed at the thought of the ‘sacrifice’ involved in giving up these particular foods, the greater question that he posed was, “If we are having trouble simply avoiding and abstaining from these types of things for the six weeks of Lent, then we should just forget about the whole thing.” We should be more concerned with the changes that are occurring within ourselves during these forty days of Lent, and beyond.
So, why not take a different approach, and decide that Lent can also be a time to ‘do more’. First, find time for silence; and then actually listen to God speaking to you. Take a good look at the things that are distractions in your life, or that take time away from strengthening your relationship with our loving, gracious and merciful God. Consider the amount of time that you spend on your smart phone, social media, television, your job/work, video games, other electronic devices, and more; and how this could be redirected over Lent and beyond.
I am sure that many of you may have already heard the following Lenten litany reflection penned by American author, teacher and pastor, William Arthur Ward entitled Fasting and Feasting. In it, he offers suggestions of things that we should be fasting from and feasting on during Lent. It is worth revisiting, as every time that I read it, something different resonates with me depending on where I am at spiritually in my life’s journey. In it, you might find that balance of ‘fasting and feasting’ during this Lenten season that will draw you closer to God, and prepare you for a fresh and new experience of Good Friday and Easter. May God’s peace be with each of you.
Fasting and Feasting
Lent can be more than a time of fasting. It can also be a joyous season of feasting. Lent is a time to fast from certain things and to feast on others.
It is a season to:
- Fast from judging others; feast on Christ living in them.
- Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
- Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
- Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
- Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
- Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
- Fast from anger; feast on patience.
- Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
- Fast from worry; feast on appreciation.
- Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
- Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
- Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
- Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.
- Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
- Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
- Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal hope through Jesus.
- Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
- Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
- Fast from suspicions; feast on truth.
- Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
- Fast from thoughts of weakness; feast on promises that inspire.
- Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
- Fast from everything that separates us from the Lord; feast on everything that draws us to the Lord.
During this Lenten season, we are encouraging our students and staff to visit our chapel, and to spend time in silence and prayer with our Lord. Our chapel will be open for parents to visit, as well. I hope that you will be able to take advantage of this time with the Blessed Sacrament. There will be books, materials, and prayer cards available that you are welcome to use during your time in the chapel.
In the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta: "The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth,"
It is with a heavy heart that I reflect on the unspeakable tragedy that occurred at Parkland High School in Florida yesterday afternoon. We are holding all of these students, teachers, administrators and their families in our prayers for healing.
While these types of premeditated and unthinkable acts are rare, it is important that we always be vigilant and attentive where safety is concerned in our school. Our staff is well acquainted with our crisis plan which is regularly reviewed. We are ready to act and execute the plan in the event of an emergency. We perform an annual compliance review of building safety.
Coincidentally, the focus of our Staff In-Service Day tomorrow is on safety. The Naperville Police Department will be joining us to conduct enhanced A.L.I.C.E. (Active Shooter Response Training) training scenarios with our faculty and staff. The issue of school safety is a major concern throughout our country. Our school building is secure at all times, and your children have been trained in safety procedures so that they know what to do in crisis situations. We are committed to maintaining a safe school building at All Saints Catholic Academy, and a safe learning environment for our students and staff. It is the most important thing that we do.
If you wish to address this event with your child, the following links are resources that you might like to take a look at:
Coming Up - Mark Your Calendars for Pastries with the Principal
I hope that you will plan to join me on Wednesday, March 14 after our school mass (between 9:15 and 9:30 am). I look forward to our time together; and then hope that you will visit our Spring Book Fair after Pastries with the Principal.
News from the All Saints Athletic Association
Have you heard…..The TCBY Home Athlete of the Week for this week is Jamie Juhas! Jamie scored 14 of her team’s 16 points in a big win versus St. Scholastica. Way to dominate Jamie!
From the Saints Sidelines . . . . The cold, snowy days were perfect for watching our Saints take control of the courts this weekend. Bringing home wins were Boys 5B1, 5B2, 6B2, 7B1, 8A, 8B1, 8B2 and Girls 6A.
Still holding on to 1st place in the league is our Boys 8B2 while our Boys 6B1 and 8B1 are holding steady in 2nd place. Girls 8B and Boys 6A are currently holding 3rd place in the league standings. Whether on the courts or off, our Saints make us proud demonstrating skill and good sportsmanship! Keep up the good work Saints!
You can stay on top of the league standings and schedules by visiting the league website at www.dplbba.org.
BLUE OUT is BACK! Be sure to come out to the ASCA gym on Friday, February 23 for a SPECIAL night honoring our 8th grade players and their parents! We have some fun things planned for this night as we host our 8th graders one last time on HOME court. Wear your Blue Out shirt for free admission!
The schedule for the evening is as follows:
- 6:oo pm St. Scholastica Boys 8A vs. St. Dominic
- 7:00 pm ASCA Boys 8A vs. St. Pius
- 8:00 pm ASCA Girls 8A vs. St. Scholastica
- 9:oo pm ASCA Boys 8B1/8B2 and ASCA Girls 8B -- Scrimmage
Gather your friends and family to show our 8th grade athletes support as they come together one last time on HOME court. Wear your 2017/2018 Special Edition "BLUE OUT" t-shirt for FREE admission!
Mark your calendars! The end of season banquet for basketball will be held on Thursday, March 22 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Attention Parents of Track & Field athletes . . . The Athletic Association needs your HELP!!! This starts by attending the parent meeting for Track & Field on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm in McSherry Hall. We need coaches for every grade and gender. If there is not enough parent involvement for that specific grade and gender, athletes will not be able to participate in the league for that level.
SHOUT-OUTS now available! Does your athlete have a birthday to celebrate? Graduation or Confirmation coming up? SHOUT-OUTS are now available for $25 through the Athletic Association. Shout-outs will be placed on the digital scorekeeper’s table at all HOME games for one weekend. Be sure to purchase a shout-out to recognize your child’s special moment! Contact Keith Glab at email@example.com
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@ASCA_Athletics) and Instagram (@allsaintsathletics) and Facebook (All Saints Athletics)!
Stay Calm and Dribble On!!!