Feeding My Soul with Disappointment, Emergence, and Prayer

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by Sister Alice Ann Pfeifer, CSA

With disappointment

There is simply no way around it, Lord Jesus. Some days I am disappointed. I let down my students or their parents, or they let me down. Maybe a lesson doesn’t go over as well as I had thought it would. Maybe during class time I let a runaway emotion get the better of me. Maybe a student’s behavior or performance falls far short of reasonable expectations.

When these things happen, Lord Jesus, help me to quietly acknowledge them and then let go of them.

Long ago you promised that burdens would be light for those committed to your service. And they are—if we accept the help you give us to carry them. The next time I attend the Eucharistic liturgy, I plan to mentally place in the collection basket any recent disappointments of mine.

You are, after all, the God who takes our meager gifts of bread and wine and turns them into your own most holy Body and Blood. You can transform our tears, too, into something good. I trust you, Lord Jesus. Amen.

With emergence

I praise you and thank you, Creator God, for the beauty of spring—a grand season of emergence. Its sounds and scents fill me with delight: the twittering of birds; the gentle patter of rain on the roof; the smell of warm, damp earth. Even deserts come alive at this time of year.

I welcome the sights and sounds of springtime sports: outdoor playing fields again jammed with people; the crack of a bat; tennis shoes pounding an asphalt track.

I welcome longer hours of daylight, too, for they lighten spirits even as they brighten city streets and country meadows. I welcome my students’ learning year coming to its culmination. I welcome the new insights, facts, and concepts that have come together for them—concepts that have broadened their mental and spiritual horizons.

Heavenly Father, may all the little resurrections of spring remind us of the greatest Resurrection of them all, when your Son Jesus rose from the dead, restored joy to his family and friends, and announced joy to the world forever and ever! Amen.

With prayer

Today, O Holy Spirit, I pray to you for and about my students. I pray with every kind of prayer there is.

First, I praise you for their youth and energy, and I thank you for all the times they have made me laugh or made me think. I thank you for the ways you are leading them into ever deeper levels of faith, hope, and love.

As summer approaches, I ask that you grant them a safe and happy vacation. May their relationships with family, friends—and you—grow stronger and better.

Give them a variety of learning experiences to complement the ones they have had in school this year. May their summer activities refresh them, that they may be eager and ready for a new learning year when fall comes.

Finally, I ask forgiveness for any sins I may have committed against my students this year. I have tried to correct my mistakes as I have made them, but please forgive me and heal any injured student of any wounds I may have left untended.

I ask you all of these things in the name of Jesus the Lord, teacher of us all. Amen.

Sister Alice Ann Pfeifer, CSA, has been a Sister of St. Agnes for over 30 years and a religion teacher and writer for the past 20 years. She has a master’s degree in pastoral studies from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.

Copyright 2010, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, February 2010.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 153536591

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