Eighth Grade on Retreat: "Hearing & Heeding God's Voice"
"And he said, 'Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.' And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."
- 1 Kings 19:11-13
The difficulties we all confront to sift through the noise of this world and hear God's voice are many. It is especially challenging for the young, who are relentlessly bombarded with invitations, if not insidious coercion, to enter into the surrounding cacophony. Beginning this week, OLMC School provides students with moments of reprieve, as together they retreat from the routine to prepare themselves to hear and to heed God's will. This first retreat of the year will give our eighth graders the opportunity to reclaim some silence and stillness in their lives. This time will help them to consider the nature of their work as students, reflect upon the true measurements of success and value, and think about the ways that the practice of the theological virtues enables them to bless the community of which they are a part. Our hope is that these retreats will contribute to forging enduring tools of discernment they'll be able to call on for the rest of their lives to discover their own paths to lasting happiness.
It is especially fitting that our eighth graders learn to hear and heed God's voice because they are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. While most teenagers are confirmed their sophomore year in high school, the Bishop has granted OLMC permission to confer this Sacrament on our students two years early. We take this responsibility very seriously as we prepare each one of them for the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As they thoughtfully embrace their ever-deepening relationship with God, we celebrate the blessing of the Sacramental vitality the Holy Spirit extends to them as they seek to follow him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.