Reflections from 2018 Graduation
REFLECTION FOR SENIOR GRADUATION 9:30 AM MASS
May 12, 2018
Good morning family, friends, sisters, loved ones, and my fellow Bennies:
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say Rejoice!” Rejoice, the day is here. The day that we were told would come so soon, but never fully believed. This is a day worth celebrating! After countless hours of seemingly unending work, many nights of little sleep, and an abundance of stress, the day is finally here. Rejoice!
In this reflection, I want to spend some time talking about salt and light; not so much because they are essential, but because they are our calling. We hear in the Gospel that we are called to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. You may be wondering: “Really, God? Did I need a four-year degree for that? Did I need to suffer through incredibly rigorous classes while participating in every club and activity on campus while working through student employment while balancing a social life with academics while finding time to grow in relationship with friends and with You?” To that I say, yes. It is from our time here at St. Ben’s that we have learned what it truly means to be salt of the earth and light of the world. Look around you. Look at all the faces that have helped get you to where you are, who have encouraged you along the way, who have never once doubted you and your capabilities. From these sources of inspiration – our family, our friends, our professors, our supervisors, our peers, the sisters – we have learned the power a dash of salt and a sprinkle of light can have on just one person. The salt and light within us in not solely our own but is a reflection of God’s light and all those we have encountered in our time before here, while here, and beyond our time here. Like they have emulated for us, we are called to be the salt and light for others.
When Jesus says that we are “the salt of the earth and the light of the world”, he is speaking directly to us, telling us that we soon-to-be graduates of St. Ben’s have something essential to bring to the world around us. We have a gift that only we can bring, that God purposely put us on this Earth to bring to others. We are to be goodness to those we encounter, shed light on the problems of the world, and give the world a little flavor in our own unique way. Salt cleanses, seasons, and preserves. God wants us, as we go out into the world, to be a distinctive seasoning in our new communities, jobs, years of service, grad schools, and beyond. Like salt, we are called to purify those that society tends to condemn or marginalize, season the world with our
REFLECTION FOR 11 AM GRADUATION MASS
May 12, 2018
How many of you have read your letter that you wrote to yourself during orientation? *raise your hands*.
Lots of emotion, right? Some that I have read are really motivating, inspiring, people shared their goals, congratulated themselves. Really exciting!
However, I have mine here…and it is pretty tragic! Let me share a little bit of it for you.
*read a couple lines*
As you can see, I was a mess! Wow! I wish I could back and tell myself that everything would be just fine and that I met my friends on the first night and that I saw my mom literally like the next day!
But, at the time, I did not know these things and I chose to dwell on all of my fears, concerns, and insecurities.
The first reading says,
“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
4 years ago, I was not thinking lovely, praise worth thoughts. I was anxious and overwhelmed by things I could not control. Now, I believe that if I were to write a letter to myself it would be a lot more joyful, encouraging, and filled with things that are worthy of praise and this is thanks to my experience at St. Ben’s.
My time at CSB helped me to focus only on things that are lovely, true, and excellent. My roommates and friends were constantly supporting me and encouraging me. They believed in me when I wasn’t so sure and helped me to know what is true about myself.
My professors challenged me to stretch my limits and reach my full potential. They knew I could do extraordinary things and they helped me realize that myself. They helped me focus on what is excellent.