It always begins with a prayer

From Father Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R.

FATHER GABRIEL ZEIS, T.O.R.

My best memory of a Catholic school experience, and my whole education was the Morning Prayer. It was then that the whole day was put into perspective and a peace came over me, a sense that no matter what would happen that day, it would all be just fine.

Over the years I realized that the simplicity of Morning Prayer grew in me to be an understanding that all is grounded in one’s relationship with God; it is this grounding that helps one make sense of the world.

Today, more than ever, our children need to find a way to be grounded, to make sense of the world. Sometimes it means that joy is discovered in the midst of difficulty and challenge, all because of this grounding. It may be that the unexpected and most perplexing of circumstances can be embraced and dealt with through patience and purposefulness because of one’s grounding in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Cross can be carried and the joy of the Resurrection can be discovered.

In a few days, all across the Diocese of Trenton, elementary students and high school students within our Catholic schools will begin their day with a simple and heartfelt prayer. It will make all the difference in the world to them, and to we who are called Church. What these simple prayers will lead to is a mystery.

I know that personally, within that simple prayer, I heard the first stirrings of my vocation and my commitment to Catholic education. I can only imagine with great joy what these prayers will lead to in the life of our students. What a remarkable gift Catholic education is and what a remarkable blessing to begin its day with prayer.

Franciscan Father Gabriel J. Zeis is diocesan vicar for Catholic education.

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