We at Veritas know what a great job you do as teachers, especially during this time as you teach remotely and continue to guide your students during these challenging times.
We have created a resource, which is available online for you to download. This first booklet has five reflections/prayers. A new resource will be available each week. Our aim is to help you each day to take some time for yourself.
We hope you will continue to use these resources in your classrooms and for personal use when this crisis is over. We wish you well during this time and our team is available to answer any questions – contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org; you can also find a range of products at www.veritas.ie
A Teacher’s Prayer
God, our Creator, You are the Supreme Teacher who illumines all life with your love and your light. Your word is a word of love. Make me your echo. Enable me to sow truth and goodness. You understand our every thought, and all our needs, you know our strengths and our failures. Fill me with understanding. Let me be passionate about beauty and truth.
Grant me the gift of conveying, teaching, correcting, and showing your ways, help me to spread your kindness. Direct my mind to your truth, my hands to kind acts. I am small and frail but allow me to fulfil my difficult mission. Show me your mercy, which teaches us so much. Amen.
Reflection What is the meaning of life?
What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know an answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question. I answer: The [person] who regards [his or her] own life and that of [their] fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.
- Albert Einstein
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
- Oscar Romero
The following is from St. Basil the Great’s commentary on Psalm 1:4.
He speaks of how he discovered for himself a key to finding the true meaning of life.
Nothing Worthwhile Comes Easily!
Life’s Journey Life is called a ‘way’ because everything that has been created is on the way to its end. When people are on a sea voyage, they can sleep while they are being transported without any effort of their own to their port of call. The ship brings them closer to their goal without their even knowing it. So we can be transported nearer to the end of life without our noticing it, as time flows by unceasingly.
Time passes as you sleep. While you are awake, time passes although you may not notice. All of us have a race to run toward our appointed end. Therefore, we are all on our way. This is how you should think of the ‘way’. . . . The ‘way’ does not belong to you nor is the present under your control. However, as each step succeeds step, enjoy each moment as it comes and then continue on your way.
Read each scripture quote and reflect on what each one is saying to you.
Pick the one that speaks to you most and use it as your mantra for this week.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
- Proverbs 27:1
For thus says the Lord: As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.
- Isaiah 66:12, 13
- One who is wise among his people will inherit honour, and his name will live forever.
- Ecclesiasticus [Sirach] 37:26
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future.
- Proverbs 19:20
You shall be my people and I will be your God.
- Jeremiah 30:22
The ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
- Hosea 14:9
Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.
- 1 Corinthians 10:24
No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and wealth.
- Matthew 6:24
Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.
- Proverbs 13:7
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
- Matthew 5:8
Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel.
- Proverbs 20:17
The Lord’s Prayer Say the Lord’s Prayer
Reflect on the meaning of the Prayer
It was Jesus who taught his disciples the Our
Father; they in turn taught it to us. We can call God ‘Father’ because, through our Baptism, we share in Jesus’ relationship with God the Father. We are daughters and sons of God, and so we can turn to God as easily as we would turn to a good parent. We can trust in God as truly as we would in a good parent. Just as Jesus trusted God the Father, we too should trust him as ‘little children’ would trust their own loving parents. The adjective ‘our’ when we say the Our Father means that we believe we are God’s people and that he alone is our God. Despite their many divisions, all Christians pray the Our Father.
Who art in heaven
God is unlike any earthly parent. God surpasses anything we could ever imagine in holiness, in love, in truth. Heaven is God’s dwelling place. By ‘heaven’, we do not mean a space in the concrete sense. Therefore, God is not ‘elsewhere’. God is with us, dwelling in our hearts.
Now we bring before God seven petitions. The first three are to do with God’s own honour and glory, while the next four ask for God’s mercy for ourselves.
Hallowed be thy name
We pray that God’s name be acknowledged as holy and treated by all people in a holy way. God has shown his holiness to us in the many times he sought to save humanity, through Moses, Abraham and, finally, through Jesus, the incarnate Son of God. God continues to manifest his holiness to us today. We are called to be holy in our own lives.
Thy kingdom come
We pray that, while we wait for the final coming of Christ, the values of love, peace and justice proclaimed by Jesus Christ and passed on to us in Scripture will shape the world in which we live. In other words, we pray that our world will be a place in which people live according to the values of the Kingdom of God. While we make this petition to God, we know that the Kingdom will only come about with the help of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
God’s Kingdom will come only when his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. It is both difficult and takes courage to do God’s will. Jesus is our model and source of strength as we strive to do so. The Gospels reveal to us that Jesus found it difficult to do the will of his Father. In Mark’s Gospel, we hear Jesus during the Agony in the Garden sharing with his Father how difficult it was: ‘Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me.’ However, this difficulty did not stop Jesus following the will of his Father and fulfilling the work the Father sent him to do. So he concluded, ‘yet, not what I want, but what you want’ (Mark 14:63). In the Our Father, we pray
that we will recognize God’s will and have the courage to live in accordance with it.
Give us this day our daily bread
When we pray this petition, we are expressing our trust that God who has given us life, give us all we require to live as his children, now and forever. However, we cannot say ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ without showing concern for those in our world who are in need.
We must live the virtue of solidarity and must share the responsibility to care for one another and for all the members of the human family. We are called to work to set up just structures in our world. We are called to share both our material and our spiritual goods with those in need.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
We trust in God’s mercy and forgiveness. Jesus’ whole earthly life, especially his suffering, Death and Resurrection, revealed the love and forgiveness of God. Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son helps us understand the depth of that love. In this petition, we truly show our commitment to live the Gospel. We acknowledge that God’s mercy and forgiveness can touch our hearts only to the extent that we forgive those who have hurt us. We know that there are no limits to the love and forgiveness of God. Therefore, we pray that we will have the courage to forgive our enemies and those who hurt us.
And lead us not into temptation
We ask God to help us to resist temptation— everything that tries to move us to turn away from God and his love—and sin. At the beginning of his public life, Jesus was tempted. He overcame the temptation by prayer and by reasserting the priority of his relationship with his Father to be the centre of his life. We know that we need to pray in order to have the strength to overcome temptation in our own lives.
But deliver us from evil
We pray to be freed from all evil—past, present and future. This includes evil that others visit upon us, as well as evil that we could do to ourselves. We ask for the gift of peace.
Complete a diary using Lectio Divina as your prayer for today. Write the title of the biblical passage or story (or the Bible reference) that you used. Then answer the five questions in the spaces provided.
- What stood out for you in the passage?
- What did you say to or ask God?
- What did you hear God saying to you?
- Who or what did you pray for or about?
What are you going to do or change in your life now?
Use this as your prayer today, what is it saying to you.
And then one day
The fog of fear lifted Gently
The night of anxiety passed
And the pain of sickness and death eased
The seeds of faith
Found nourishment In a morning sun.
The shoots of hope Broke through
A frozen earth
The tender buds of love Burst wildly open On every branch.
The birds sang
With summer abandon
People laughed and danced As was their right
And children played Again
Enmity and division Were no more
For on that bright and balmy morn Faith wore its coat of many colours Hope sang with its purest voice And love, as always, conquered all.
On a dank and dark St Patrick’s Day, 2020)
Your Father Knows Well You Need Them (Luke 12:30) A loving hand guides our lives, a loving force guides our world, a loving and personal God is involved in the past, present and future of our lives.
God knows each of us by name, by the history of our lives, by our hopes. Our peace and freedom from worry comes partly from the love God has for each. Then we have more space to solve problems.
A love, which touches us when we are worried, anxious, fearful. Like the sparkle in the middle of a diamond, like the colour in the middle of a thread, like the rain in the middle of a cloud. Always there, essential to the diamond, thread or cloud, but not itself the diamond, cloud or thread.
Being involved in the love of God brings the deepest happiness— could the desert be happy without sand or the sun happy without light?
All else will then be viewed in this light. Our anxiety about past, present or future is lived within the environment of the love of God.