Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou
Recently I celebrated Mass for the New Zealand Catholic Primary Principals Conference. It was a real pleasure to be with Principals from all over New Zealand and to witness just how they give themselves to their role as Principals. We are blessed to have so many women and men dedicated to Catholic education.
The theme for the Conference was REIMAGINE, RENEW AND REJOICE. Various speakers reminded the Principals of how important it is to take care of themselves when they are constantly giving and responding to endless and sometimes unreasonable demands.
In trying to address the Conference theme in the homily I began by quoting a few words from the Book of Lamentations 3: 32-33. “The steadfast love of our God never ceases; God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness, O God”.
Helpful questions for any of us to ask, and to ask every day are “what do I do to become aware of God’s never-ending mercies? Do I know that God’s mercies are new every morning? Do I rejoice daily in God’s faithfulness?”
We all want a relationship with God, but such a relationship/friendship needs a relationship with ourselves. There are many ways we come to know God and to know ourselves better. A favourite website of mine is GRATEFULNESS.ORG, within which there is a site called “The Angel of the Hours”. This site that offers us an opportunity to direct our lives from within and not be swept away by the demands of the clock.
This site has eight “hours” spread throughout the day; they are basically the monastic hours of prayer. I find them very helpful. For example, the Angel of Lauds near the beginning of the day takes us out of the darkness into the light. It is a time which encourages us to have the attitude that each day is a gift, that everything in our life is gift, prompting us to see that the appropriate and only response to this day given to us is GRATEFULNESS, even when life is difficult and there are challenges. The Angel of Lauds invites us to ask “what attitude should I bring to this day? What is it time for? What do I need to nourish my soul for the day ahead?”
The Angel of Lauds is just one of the “hours” of the day, there are seven others. Try them, pray with them, they will all help you to know that “The steadfast love of our God never ceases; God’s mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, O God”.