I simultaneously love and hate those moments where God shows me my faults. Being humbled is not very fun, yet it is a beautiful thing because it creates change in us. At least, I hope it does for me! The past couple of weeks have been quite stressful with the last few days of summer winding down and the school year beginning, and I have not always been the most fun to be around. In fact, I always feel bad for my family during this time because I can definitely be a little short and spaced out because of all of the things on my mind. As much as I love teaching, the beginning of the year is always such a hard time for me because of the high expectations I put on myself – will my classroom be perfect? Are all of my lessons completely planned out? Is everything organized, cut out, laminated, and filed? Honestly, I can be quite unrealistic with myself!
A couple of years ago, my wonderful priest, Fr. Rickey Valleroy, suggested that the responsorial psalm sung during Sunday mass become a sort of “mantra” for the entire week; something we can repeat to keep our minds on God and a focus on the Mass continuing long after “Thanks be to God!”
I have recently taken on Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, “Laudato Si'”, since I am off for the summer and time for reading while my 22-month-old is napping is more available. I am reading small bits at a time, and I have found that the time I am spending outdoors with my family this summer has made the Pope’s words ring with such clarity as I experience the beauty of God’s creation. Although his words warn of the fragile nature of our planet, and the fact “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God” they also bring a scriptural and traditional view of why we should appreciate God’s creation.