Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reflections on Education

Today is the feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, an exceptional educator and one of the advocates of wisdom who founded a religious community responsible for the education of many hearts and minds.

It is difficult to imagine where we would be without the devoted teachers in our lives. Early in life, we are very fortunate to attract teachers that inspire our natural curiosity and support us on the climb towards truth. Those who gently push or pull us into deeper levels of understanding and then quietly "presence" with us when wisdom arrives.

I have a deep passion for learning and consider the educational opportunities that were granted to me in my lifetime as the greatest gifts of love that I have known. Each teacher has equipped me with road maps for the ongoing journey to true liberty and gives me pause to appreciate their selflessness in supporting a fellow pilgrim on the way home to Jerusalem.

I am aware that not everyone has had such positive impressions related to their formal schooling and I only wish they had had the opportunities afforded to me through the loving teachers I had provided by the Sisters for Christian Community, the Order of St. Benedict, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and the Sisters of Providence among others.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I lift my lamp...

If the inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Why a lamp beside the golden door? Perhaps, in her great freedom, she chooses to overlook the fact that you are arriving in the darkness of night. Perhaps she realizes that her nation has yet to fulfill its destiny; that you might find a door closed elsewhere by a hardened, selfish heart. Or worse yet, an armed border patrol guard. Liberty keeps watch through the night for the humble pilgrim on the journey home.

You certainly can't believe the lamp is so that she can read your documents?