We are called to grow in awareness of the life in and around us

In the busyness of our everyday life, it is easy to lose track of the present and not truly appreciate the moment we are currently in. Often we are moving from one task to the next, looking forward to the next break, weekend, holiday or respite without truly appreciating the moment that we are in, the present.

Last Friday the staff of both campuses gathered for our annual Formation Day where we were challenged to grow in awareness of the life in and around us.

The day was led by Ryan Gato and Mark O’Farrell from the Marist Mission and Life Formation Team and supported by our own APRIM, Joseph Catania and Parish Priest, Fr. Josy Sebastian.

Throughout the day we were asked to consider how we could cultivate an inner awareness that escapes so many of us in our busy contemporary world. How to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings; that beautiful sunrise or sunset, the cool wind on our face, the sound of a crashing wave, the laughter of another or the solitude of silence. We were encouraged to share this with our students and support them in “paying attention” to the world around them, to their lives and to live in harmony with each other. In our modern-day society, this is becoming increasingly challenging with the ever-growing and ever-present distractions, particularly from a technological and social-media perspective.

At a recent Parent Information Night a member of staff shared the important role that families play in being present to one another and how sometimes the things which may seem little at the time, can have the biggest impact and create the best memories. Examples included taking the time to go for a walk, share a meal without distractions and ensure we are truly present and appreciative of the moment we are in, whatever that may be.

It was a wonderful day and a great opportunity to stop, reflect and be present. One of the passages that I found particularly thought provoking was from Fr Richard Rohr OFM and I encourage you to read an excerpt of this below.

“We are always looking to the next moment to be more perfect. We’re a people always rushing into the future because we’re not experiencing wholeness in the present. Yet this moment is as perfect as it can be. When we haven’t grasped the present, we always live under the illusion – and it is an illusion that the next moment is going to be better: when I get around this corner, when I see this person, when I get overseas, whatever it might be. Everything we do is for the sake of something else and means towards some nebulous end.

That attitude is essentially wrong. As long as we think happiness is around the corner, we have not grasped happiness. Happiness is given in this moment. Everything is right here, right now, the total mystery of Christ, totally hidden and yet perfectly revealed.”

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