Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are we letting our light shine?

I just read a beautiful story at Catholic Exchange...

Light or Darkness: Which Do You Bring?

Is 8:239:3 / 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17 / Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17

Some years ago there was a new eighth-grade class at the local parish school, and they were trouble!Negative and sniping, they were down on everything and everybody, most especially themselves.Nobody wanted to teach this class, until finally old Sister Ambrose volunteered.

She was a wise old nun, so she did something very simple.She gave each student a list of their classmates."Next to each name," she said, "write down all the good things you know about that person.Don't exaggerate or make up anything.Just write the good that you see and give me your papers on Friday."And so they did.

Over the weekend, Sister read the students' comments and then typed for each one a full page of all the good things the class saw in him or her.On Monday she handed them out.

The students were astonished."Is this me?" asked some. "I didn't think anybody noticed," said others."Wow, I can't believe I'm this good!" said still others.And so it went.

Years later, when the class had scattered to the four winds, many of them returned for the funeral of one of the boys who had been killed in Vietnam. After the burial they were clustered around old Sister Ambrose when the dead soldier's father came along.

"Thank you, Sister, for all your help to my boy," he said."He grew up fine, just as you hoped, and he made us very proud.Now I want to return to you something you gave him long ago in the eighth grade."

With that he pressed into her hand a yellowed piece of paper, folded very small to fit into a wallet, and falling apart now from being folded and unfolded, read and reread many times.It was the list Sister had typed for that shy boy so many years before!

Silently and tearfully each of his classmates reached into their wallets or purses and produced their own worn and yellowed sheets, which we falling apart from being folded and unfolded, read and reread many times across the years.

And old Sister Ambrose, now leaning heavily on her cane, sighed and whispered a silent prayer, "Thank you, God."

A small kindness cast its light like a beacon across many years.It pierced the darkness, and nothing could put it out.

May our light shine, and bring light to all we meet.And may it never grow dim. Amen.(Catholic Exchange)


Jen said...

I saw this too and loved it. I think I might try it with our 8th grade CCD class.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Great idea, Jen! I think it will be work well with that age.

God bless,