“You are called to be bearers of generosity and honesty, to fight against immorality, to prepare a more just, healthier and happier world.” These words were spoken by Pope John Paul II to one hundred thousand families who were gathered in Mexico to hear him speak. He was speaking, though, specifically to the children.
I imagine that those words - this call - resonated with the children. Children want to “be about something.” They want to be challenged and succeed. They even want to struggle with something that matters, come up short and try again and again. What they want and especially what they need from us - their teachers and parents - is to be told that they can survive struggle and hardship. They need to know that we believe they can fight against immorality and prepare a more just world. They need us to remind them that they are created by God to be exceptional - each and every one of them. Can you imagine God up in Heaven saying, “Well this one won’t be anything special.” or “I’ll make this one mediocre.”? Of course not! We all know that each of our children, made in God’s image and likeness, is meant to be and do something extraordinary.
Sometimes, though, we can get in the way of their becoming. When our first instinct is to excuse poor behavior or half-hearted effort, we diminish our children’s capacities. They listen when we make excuses or blame others when they don’t hit the mark. If they hear “It’s okay” instead of “I know you’re better than that!”, they begin to believe that they are incapable of doing great things. They start to believe that they are people who are just “okay” and just get by. When children go wrong - when they are mean to another child, or when they lie or cheat, when they are disrespectful to an adult - the temptation might be to tell them it’s no big deal. The trouble is, if we don’t react to the first or second time children head in the wrong direction, and if we don’t react every time they go wrong, we will find ourselves with children who have gotten into the habit of doing things halfway, who see themselves as someone who lies or cheats or acts disrespectfully.
Parenting is hard. Teaching children is hard. It will be the most important thing any of us do in our lifetimes. We are not always going to get it right, but if we refuse to accept less than our own best effort, that will translate to our children. They will understand that what we do and say matters. They will begin to believe that they can answer John Paul II’s call to fight to make the world a better place by being better themselves. They will become the kind of people God means them to be, and we will have done our job.
“Great teachers (and parents) have high expectations for their students and children, but even higher expectations for themselves.” Whitaker
Dates to Remember:
1 Student Appreciation Day
2 First Friday Mass 9am
Early Dismissal 12:10
Super Bowl Pizza Bingo Family Fundraiser, 6 pm
5 Testing begins
9 Mass at Noon
Re-enrollment deadline in TADS
11 Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
13 Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper, 6:00pm
14 Ash Wednesday, Mass at 9am
15 Spelling Bee Talent Show, 6:30pm
16 Mass at 9am
Dismissal at 12:10pm
19 NO SCHOOL - Presidents’ Day
23 Mass at Noon
27 Class & Club Picture Day
2 NO SCHOOL - Professional Development Day for all teachers and staff,
St. Elizabeth’s School
3 Drama Club Dress Rehearsal, 9:00am - 5:00pm
First Penance, 10am
9 Mass at noon
Drama Production - “Peter Pan”, 7pm
10 Drama Production - “Peter Pan”, 7pm
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.