Lost in the shuffle of re-scheduling the week so our school can honor the legacy of Mr. Broom was the fact that our annual spirit week is next week. Spirit week is a longstanding tradition at MRA, as it gives students an occasion to both celebrate life and their vocation as students. So often I get stuck in a moment in which I think, "Wow, God really has this whole plan thing under control." I will recount the last two weeks to illustrate what I mean, and then announce the plan for spirit week.
I say this because while sharing the news with the students on Monday of Mr. Broom's passing, two things were already set in motion: first, we decided to pray the chaplet of divine mercy instead of the rosary since we previously were doing that at La Salette on Friday; secondly, prayer should always be our first reaction to both the good and the unplanned circumstances that so frequently happen in life. The chaplet of divine mercy is the most profound and potent prayer that can be said when people are near or at death. This we know from the revelations of St. Faustina:
Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties [that is, insistent prayers], obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul." (Diary of St. Faustina, 1777)
Just last week, to wrap up virtue of the month, I shared a story in which a husband who just lost his wife publicly committed in the eulogy to be thankful for what he had, and not become upset over what his family did not. This was said with his two daughters - ages 10 and 4 - standing beside him. And he wasn't referring to a "what" but a "who," a person who meant so much to him.
Our first reaction is to pray for Mr. Broom and his family. Our next reaction is to be thankful, and then we will celebrate the gift of our school all of next week.
Again, as I retrace these moments, I think that God really prepared us for the passing of Mr. Broom. We should be nothing but grateful, and students certainly learned about the virtue of gratitude throughout the month of September. Moreover, because of our faith, we know that death is not the end:
"There is cause for rejoicing here. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears." (1 Peter. 1:6-7)
There is a cause for rejoicing right now. Life is worth living. More to it, a well lived life inspires joy in others. We know that Mr. Broom lived well, loved much, and gave his faith and family completely to God.
I propose we keep this mind as we attend the funeral, and that we make the spirit week of 2016 the best one yet!
Alas, here is the schedule set forth by the high school student government, and approved by the faculty and administration:
- Tuesday: Class colors; rosary at 8:45 a.m.; pep rally at 1:30 p.m.
- Wednesday: Mismatch
- Thursday: Sports
- Friday: School colors (royal blue, red, white); Mass at 10:40 a.m.; student-teacher basketball game at 12:30 p.m.
Yours Truly In Christ,
Class Colors for Spirit Week
Pre-K and 12th grade: red
Kindergarten and 11th grade: blue
1st and 10th grade: black
2nd and 9th grade: green
3rd and 8th grade: grey
4th and 7th grade: pink
5th and 6th grade: orange