To say that I love being a high school chaplain is an understatement. As I walk the halls of La Salle Academy, I’m often reminded of the verse from Psalm 16, “He has put into my heart a marvelous love for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.” I truly love the students that the Lord has entrusted to my spiritual care.
As a “father” to the students, I often challenge them to think and act differently. So, for example, recently a student was in campus ministry and she expressed that she felt unhappy because it was a Monday! Her feelings were not unlike many adults that wake up on Monday mornings with a feeling of discontent because it’s a new day (or new week) with new worries.
So I challenged her to wake up in the morning with a new attitude. And I’d like to propose the challenge to you too: What if, instead of waking up with the attitude that it’s a new day with new worries, we wake up with the attitude that’s it’s a new day with new blessings.
Each and every day the Lord blesses us. But oftentimes we fail to notice those blessings. This is the wisdom of the daily examen that St. Ignatius of Loyola proposed. St. Ignatius encourages us to begin our prayer in gratitude to God for the blessings we’ve received during the day.
Now, I can hear some readers protesting, “Father, this is sappy and a totally unrealistic approach to life.” Really? Then why do the saints suggest it to us? Remember: a lot of people think that saints are unrealistic; but, they are the most realistic of all!
Look, there are always going to be problems, and it’s unrealistic to avoid them; but this isn’t about avoiding them, it’s about having a different perspective so we can be more aware of the blessings that God gives us each day.
Here’s my suggestion: Each morning when you awake, get on your knees and thank the Lord for another day and for all the blessings he’s going to give you. Spend more time in gratitude for your blessings than worrying about your problems and you’ll be more peaceful.
Art: St. Ignatius of Loyola, Peter Paul Rubens, 1600s, PD, Wikimedia Commons.