My kids are preparing to receive Confirmation this fall and I'm starting to get nervous. Basically, I had three months to prepare them for this wonderful sacrament but there are so many things I feel like I haven't even gotten to yet. It is such a responsibility and I frequently find myself feeling overwhelmed by everything I want to share with them. However, a little victory this week made all the stress and rush of it seem worth it.
The students were writing their letters to the bishop who is going to confirm them and as they wrote their rough drafts they asked me to read them before they wrote them on the paper with the school seal on it. As I read each of their letters I was so touched by their words to the bishop and I realized a) that they really do listen when I talk to them and b) that they really do care about their faith. The most beautiful of the letters was one by one of my boys. He wrote that he was choosing the name Joseph because "Joseph took care of Mary and Jesus and I admire him for that." No matter what I do, God has obviously touched his heart and brought him to that beautiful desire to be like the foster father and mother of God. We had first Friday Mass today as a school community and all of them were their beautiful selves but as I watched their faces and their movements I was so proud to be their teacher.
At Mass, Father spoke about praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life and as I looked at my boys and girls I remembered what a student said to me when I was giving a vocation talk one time. She asked, "Sister, can you tell when you look at us?" My answer was, "yes." It is amazing the look in a child's eyes when it dawns on them that a) it could be possible that God is calling them, and that b) they feel something that they haven't noticed before. Well, we were talking about the will of God when one of my dear boys stated that it must have been the will of God that our classroom pet died. (Nothing is theologically sophisticated with sixth graders.) It was off-topic and meant to throw me off onto something "more interesting." (I know their game :) ) Anyway, I responded by asking this child if he was asking God what His will was for him. He answered, not to be a priest sister... don't even try! Now, he is a sweet heart so it wasn't meant as a dig. But my answer was, "You said it, not me!"
Tomorrow I will be part of a vocation day for my community. I'm excited to be able to offer my Saturday (which I love because it is great to catch up on schoolwork) for potential vocations to the religious life. It's a great life!! Please pray that God's will be made known to the young women who will be joining the sisters for a day of prayer and discernment. Lord, grant us more vocations!