Dear St. George Families,
Yesterday we held an Open House for prospective families. My thanks to all who helped with our Open House. You are what is most impressive about St. George Catholic School.
As I've been showing people around the school, I have come to appreciate some of the features of this school that I am now so familiar with that I otherwise don't notice. I'll bet you're the same way. But it's the people that are most important.
I once met a young mother who told me her story. When she was 18 years old, she felt like God may have been asking her to be a nun. So a few days after graduating high school, she entered the convent as a trial period to further discern if that was right for her. From the moment she entered the convent, she was unhappy. Finally, after a month of being miserable, she went to see Mother Superior, in tears: "I know God wants me here," she said between sobs, "but I am so unhappy." Mother Superior smiled. "Why do you think God wants you here?" "Because I am so unhappy," the young mother said.
I think there's a twisted fear in all of us that if the Lord really does teach us, that if we really did "walk in his truth", we're going to be miserable. Perhaps it's because we remember so well Jesus' admonition: "If you wish to be my disciple, you must take up your cross and follow me." But suffering is not the same thing as unhappiness, and we need to know the difference.
There have likely been brief stretches in your life when things were just "right". You were staying on top of your work. Your relationships were in good order--with your family, your friends. You were going to Church and building on your relationship with God. You were getting enough sleep. For athletes, this sometimes occurs in mid-season when you get into a good rhythm coming home from practice, taking a shower, doing homework, going to bed on time. Life was "clicking". And here's the most interesting part, it's during those times we are most happy. Our life feels right. We're proud of ourselves!
It's when we really mess up-when we SIN-that we're filled with guilt and shame, weighed down, like a depressing blanket that we put over ourselves. The Christian life is a joyful life! When we "walk in the way of Truth" we are happy, fulfilled, satisfied - because we are living as God created us to live.
Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. When my oldest daughter was a senior, she went to a party and came home around 9 p.m., unhappy looking. I didn't ask - I tried to give her some space. But I knew what was going on: she had gone to the party and there were things going on that she didn't want to get involved with, so she left. No doubt she felt lonely, especially since she had friends involved.
Sometimes doing the right thing will make us feel lonely. But here's the promise God makes to us. If we rely on him, "We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us". Ask him to help you. He will.