What is that moves you to get out of bed in the morning? Why do you go to work, school? Why do you what you do? Over this summer I had the most pleasant opportunity to intern for a great high school, Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. In my first day there, there was a mass especially for the teachers being that it was the official last day of school, that I went to. Saint Ignatius being a Jesuit high school, performs these types of gatherings for their staff and faculty. It was a most interesting, and captivating experience as I went into the beautifully stained glassed window chapel on the picturesque grounds of their campus that sits off of a busy street of W.30th near West Side Market. As everyone walked in, conversing with one another, each person walked up to a fountain like basin filled with water placed on stones dipping their index finger into the water and touching it gently upon their forehead. The service began with songs, somewhat contemporary then coming a ushering in of the priest who performed the mass. Halfway through the service there was holy communion, as each row walked up orderly one by one to partake in the “bread” and “wine.” I got up out of my pew as well and walked down to the front to participate, as I also participated in the congregational prayers and songs. The congregational aspect of prayer was really the most grabbing point for me, being that the church I go to is primarily focused on the individuals praying up front, with congregational participation from time to time. Yet, after every sentence or two of a part of a prayer reading, the congregation would recite another part of the prayer and after each prayer request they would say “we pray to the Lord.” One fascinating principle I discovered amongst this beautiful joining of a church, is that Catholics believe particularly at this high school, in reaching for the Magis (The Greater Glory of God.) That is a most wonderful concept in its essence, because I saw after being there that this phrase, this principle inspires them in their work and service to the young men who attend Saint Ignatius High School. This is diversity, is the culture, this a sample of the many beliefs and religions that weave through our nation. It is the spirit of diverse faith that informs and shapes what we do, no matter what one’s faith is, rather it’s a religion or not because we all have something we believe in, something we grasp on to. So my question comes up again, why do we do what we do? As I learned recently, for some it is striving every day for the MAGIS, the greater glory of God. What will you strive for today?
-This is good stuff to know
Its church! Yea I know, all kinds of images, some deeply reflective, and some humorous come to our mind we think of church. In church you see all kinds of people, backgrounds, and perspectives coming to a building on a day or two to have joint celebration of a higher being, God, that people worship. It can be an awesome site , seeing grandma’s decked out in colorful bow knotted church hats, a single mom coming in with her two energetic boys, a young man searching for something more, and a large family of six sitting quietly in the middle pew listening to the sermon. All of these pictures, all of these occasions vary from church to church depending on the life of culture that is brewed at the particular congregation of worship. This is why visiting a church can be fun, like I did this past weekend on a Saturday morning. I visited a church in Silver Spring, and was amazed to see such a marvelous blend of ethnicity’s present at this beautiful church. There were Latino’s, Jamaicans, other West Indie cultures, Europeans, Caucasians, and Indians all gathered for one central purpose. I believe in my heart this paints a field of view for what our country can become, and is becoming; this being all of us no matter where we come from, what our color is, coming and working together for one purpose of making our America a better home for us as all.
In a stirring occasion, crowds gathered on August 28th at the National Mall centered at Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. This was a speech that helped awake the conscience of our nation to do something significant about the issue of race in America. A year later it along with much organized action paved the way for the monumental 1964 legislation, the Civil Rights Bill. Yet, it was more than race alone that King preached about it, spoke about, marched about, it was also the issue of poverty and the economy at large. This is why King and and others began the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, the year King was assassinated by a bullet. It is because of his fight for the poor, the under-served in America, along with racial equality, that thousands gathered on those steps two weeks ago. The question that now remains after this celebratory event is: what will we as a nation, as a generation, as a society do to live out daily the Dreamers’ dream? What will our country look like in the aspects of race, poverty, criminal justice, and other problems that still plague our country 50 years after his remarkable speech? This is our prerogative, our moment, our time to shape what will happen 50 years from now. Imagine, what the 100th year anniversary of King’s speech will be like then.