Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Glass is Already Broken

Once Upon a Time,

...a man went to get himself a glass of water and as he picked up the glass, the glass said, "Stop, look at me. Don't you see I am already broken?"

"What?" the man said, "You are in perfect condition."

"Regardless," answered back the glass, "I will be of no use to you--I am already broken."

Nonsense, the man thought and he filled up the glass with water and said, "See, you hold the water wonderfully -- not one drop leaks out."

"Take a better look," said the glass, "and you will see I am already broken."

Holding the glass to the light the man said, "Ridiculous, see how the light shines through your glass and water--it sparkles and shines. You're beautiful and your glass possesses no cracks."

"But, don't you see, sir," repeated the glass, "I am already broken."

"No, you're not," barked the man and he drank the water from the glass. "See? Perfect. You are perfect." and he placed the glass carefully back on the shelf.

Before he left the room, he took one more look at the glass and asked it, "Why do you keep saying you're broken when you're not?"

"How else will you see me?" responded the glass

"Excuse me?" said the man, "I don't understand."

"How many times have you picked me up and drank from me?" asked the glass.

"Hundreds of times." answered the man.

"Exactly!" was the glasses sharp reply. "And you never once saw my beauty. But this time, because you were afraid I was broken, you took time to look at me and you saw how precious I really am. If that's what it takes to get your attention, then remember, this glass is already broken."

@Story by Ken Willers

On September 11th, Catholic schools around the nation shared prayers of remembrance and prayers for peace. Our nation wide tribute honors the memories of the innocents who lost their lives, the men and women of service who lost their lives in their attempts to save the lives of others on that tragic morning and families left to mourn.

As we reflect on the events of 13 years ago, let us hold our school children and our own families close to our hearts and give thanks to God for our most precious gifts of life. Because our gift is so fragile, we must always hold and see the ones we love first and foremost in our minds and hearts. Our daily "routine" seems small and insignificant when compared with the potential loss of those we love.

Together, let us reassure our children that they are safe and well cared for by the adults and family members around them. Let us pray that our leaders restore peace and calm to a nation in grief and let us remember the victims, their families and the tremendous loss of life in our prayers and thoughts. Let us give thanks for those who risked their lives to rescue and assist those within the wreckage.

Although the "glass is already broken," let us see our country and our people made strong and resolute through our trust in God's healing hand, merciful heart and providential care.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Don't Just Lay Bricks--Build Something!

The Three Bricklayers

Three men were putting up a building on a wide and spacious lot. A stranger passing by stopped awhile to watch. The worker nearest him was doggedly placing brick on brick.

 “Warm day”, said the stranger. “What are you doing?”

 Without glancing up the man replied, “I’m laying bricks”.

 The stranger strolled on. A little farther he stopped again beside another bricklayer and repeated his question.

“Fine day, “ he said. “What are you doing?”

The second man slapped on some more mortar, glanced at the stranger and said, “I’m earning twenty dollars a day”.

 Around the corner of the building, the stranger found a third bricklayer, who whistled as he worked. Again he asked what the man was doing. With careful precision the workman finished laying a brick. He straightened up, stepped back and slowly surveyed the unfinished building.

With pride in his voice he replied, “I’m building a cathedral”. .

Dear Colleagues,
There are so many times when I reduce what I’m doing to merely a function. There are times I reduce what I’m about to only "running a school," or “making a living.” And then there are times when I step back and realize that my life, my purpose, my vocation, is much bigger than myself and even what I’m doing.

What we are about as Catholic school educators is much more than sponsoring a fundraiser, hosting a book fair, analyzing ITBS tests scores or reviewing Progress Reports...what we are about, is creating 'Cathedrals.' Each and every child is a Cathedral in the making and our mission is about them.  Let’s keep that as our focus.

Let our lives and our ministry be about the Cathedrals that fill our schools every day. Let our leadership be about our staff, our children and our families. A faith-filled community of educators  provide the infrastructure for the Cathedral to flourish. At times we are the mortar and at others we are the architects of these magnificent edifices—but as leaders we must let our teachers, staff children and parents be the builders. Day by day...brick by brick...we assist them by inspiring them to the see big picture of the Cathedral in the making.

Personally, the lives we lead, the jobs we have, and the relationships we are involved in assist us in building up the lives of our children and the community we are called to serve. When we forget about the big picture of building Cathedrals our lives become reduced to meaningless tasks. Because of our busy lives we sometimes lose sight of our Mission...our staff...our children...our Cathedrals in the making.

As we embark upon our school year, let us create a new year of opportunities. Let us stay on fire with our our Mission. We are not about just “doing things”--we are about forming children’s minds, hearts, and souls. We are creating Cathedrals!

Thank you for being part of the Church's Mission of Catholic education.

Ken Willers