What I Said Today at the Prayer Service

It’s weird that we had the tree for our symbol this year.  None of us here is anything like a tree.  None of us is getting that kind of rest.  You are constantly moving.  Getting up, going to school, going to practice, working out, doing homework, and now reviewing for finals, studying, taking finals, playing Candy Crush, Flappy Golf, Twisty Hollow, Zen Line, Mermaid Salon, Hearthstone and Vain Glory. I mean, you are really busy.

Senior Bailey Heng told me that she didn’t feel like she learned anything in high school, she just did a bunch of stuff.

A bunch of stuff.

A lot of you in this room are doing a bunch of stuff right now.  You’re texting your friend, or you’re clowning somebody or you’re trying to make that person look at you.  Some of you, not all, but some of you say you don’t like Mass because it’s boring. But the truth of it is you can’t stand being still.  And the reason why you can’t stand being still is that no one taught you the power that being still can give you.  You don’t realize that God’s voice inside of you is a still voice. You have to be still yourself to hear it.

As many of you know, in my class we write every day. We keep journals where students record their innermost private thoughts, and in Nick Garcia’s journal he said. . . .wake up to a nightmare as your teacher is about to put your private journal on blast in front of the whole school, well that’s what you get for being so smart. . . .and in Nick Garcia’s journal he said that on the last days of classes as a senior in high school, he felt that the past four years he had been standing under a waterfall of classes, studying, tests, activities, and friends, thinking the whole time that it was endless and that it would last forever. Except there he was on the last day of real classes and the waterfall was down to only a few drops and soon it would be gone.

So beloved students, maybe the tree isn’t a symbol of what we are.  Perhaps it is a symbol of what we should try to be.  Maybe we should seek just once to be still.

Be still.

Be aware of your roots here at (where we go to school).

Give yourself a minute to reflect on what you have learned while you were doing all that stuff.  Be still and cultivate awareness that you are standing beneath a great waterfall that will be over before you know it. Just be still for one second and pray in gratitude with me to a God who sees you and loves you just as you are in this singular moment, just the way you are, with nothing to fix.

Sit up nice and straight and tall. Take a deep breath. In and out.  And another. In and out.

Dear God,

This was the year

The days fell like water

On every son and every daughter

We barely stopped to look around sometimes we lost God’s voice in all that sound

This was the year.

This was the year we lost our brother

A girl she lost her mother

This was a year unlike any other

This was the year we held up each other

This was the year

This was the year of Holy Courts and Holy Hoops

When (you know who) were the dupes

We ran around them loops and loops

Sorry not sorry oops.

This was the year

We ruled fields, pools and mats too

Playing with honor, bleeding blue

This was the year

We read Into the Wild and Mala and Night

We wrote our papers until they were sparkling and tight

We figured out equations, oh we did the math

And took time in Religion to find a spiritual path

We blew bubbles with Bogert

And spoke Spanish with Chad

Did our research with Roybal

And parlayed with Howurun cause she’s rad

This was the year

This was the year when we did all the stuff

Sometimes it was easy, sometimes it was rough

All the while knowing that all this life

Is not about feeling myself or hitting your wife

It’s not all about the Benjamins and beating the curve


This was the year we stood tall and strong

We sheltered each other

When the days were long

I thank my God for our school, our teachers and friends

I thank my God that the love between us never ends

For though the days are almost done

Of this crazy rotation around the sun

Under the amazing waterfall of work and fun

This was the year

When we all became one.


  1. Just what I needed this morning. Thanks, Maureen.


  2. Benihana Bob

    I don’t know what string of events brought me to this page but reading this again was fantastic.


    1. Thank you so much.


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