From the Heart, Community Voices

Community Voices

From the Heart

February 23, 2023

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As we enter the Lenten season, Mary Furay, Seventh and Eighth Class theology and history teacher, shares her reflections and those of her students.

Lent is the time of the year when the flowers start to bloom, and everything starts to grow along with your soul. During Lent you become closer to Jesus as you pray more, fast just like He did, and give just like He would. 

— Gabby J.

February is a short, cold month filled with the sweetness of Valentine’s Day, the promise of potential snow days, the fun of Superbowl football, and the revelry of Mardi Gras.  

It is also Academy exam season. For the past several weeks, Middle School students have been defending arguments for history essays, solving mathematical word problems, conjugating verbs in Spanish, and discussing literary elements. Even more impressive than that, as the students journeyed through this challenging moment in their year, they stayed organized and kept up with projects, quizzes, writing assignments, club activities, sports, and more. 

To say we are proud of them would not go far enough. I am inspired by them. The Middle School students, like Rosie the Riveter encouraging those of a different generation, have made it clear: Whatever hard things life throws at us, we can do it! 

And now it’s the season for Lent. And in Lent, as Gabby so wisely shared, the world is about to return to life. As we sacrifice, as we give of ourselves in time, talent, and treasure, as we pray more, as we concentrate on changing our lives for the better and being more like Christ, the world will return our joy by bringing us color and warmth and the long-awaited flowers.  

Below are some responses from reflective Seventh and Eighth Class students, as they pondered “What does Lent mean to me?” 

Lent means to me a season of forgiveness and prayer. It’s a time of peace and thankfulness. It is a time of reflection … Lent gives us opportunities to do good for our community and it shows us that no matter what, Jesus is always in our everyday lives, whether we know it or not. Lent is a time of repentance and a time for happy and positive attitudes. — Gabby J.

To me Lent almost feels like a fresh start. It is a time where we can give up physical things that don’t matter to better our relationship with God. Someday, when we make it to heaven these items that are distractions from our faith won’t even matter. Before we feel like complaining about giving up our favorite foods or bad habits, we should think of how Jesus gave up His life for us. By the time Lent is over, I always feel like my personal faith has improved as well as my relationship with my peers. Lent truly is a time to let our best selves unfold. –Isabella C.

Lent means giving up something of importance to you like how Jesus gave His life for all of us. We show our love for Jesus during this time and repent to show we are grateful for his sacrifice. We give our time to those who need it and show our love for everyone. My parents asked me to help them at a church event like a fish fry. I give up sweets or something I like so I can show my dedication to Jesus. — Evan B.

“Let me listen to God by eliminating the noise in my life that drowns out his voice.” This quote means to me that you should always follow God’s guidance and what he’s trying to tell you. We take advantage of the noise by talking to our friends. Sometimes we forget that God is present in our hearts and trying to guide us, but all the noise is drowning and taking away his voice until you can’t hear him anymore. We can also forget to just take a moment or second to sit down and relax, close our eyes, and try to listen what God is trying to say to us. He will give you a little nudge or advice to guide you in the right direction to succeed, so make sure that you take the time to settle down and listen to God. — Maha D.

What God is telling me: to stay true to myself and not let others get the best of me. Stay calm under pressure. Don’t let what others think get in the way of what you think. — Estella K.

“The sick need a doctor.” Sometimes people need someone else to help them become a better person. But the doctor is also becoming a better person by helping others. During Lent, we must become the doctor and help others become better versions of themselves. When we help others or receive help and become a better person we also see the light of God. — Cameron W.