amazing_raceAfter a long winter holiday, the 2014 semester has finally begun, and the LCI students are off with a bang….literally! To mark the joy of the new year, and to re-live in our bodies the theme of the year (“Back to Basics”), LCI teacher Teresa Hess organized our very own LCI-version of The Amazing Race. Students were divided into teams and given specific missions that took them all over the Kartause and the village of Gaming – with a twist – performing the Spiritual and Corporeal works of mercy, and ministering to the members of our community! The game became really fun and competitive almost immediately, and the good spirit of teamwork and mission set the tone for yet another successful semester, while also making concrete what we talk about in class. A new year, a new semester, is the perfect impetus and motivation to begin once again that ever-ancient ever-new task of living vibrantly the Faith we hold dear.

New Year’s resolutions can seem superficial or even arbitrary, and yet because of our human condition, we do well with having dates and times and places that we focus our minds once again on what our purpose is, and what our priorities are. Much like the concept of Thanksgiving Day – we are supposed to be grateful every day and yet we pause on a concrete day of the year to attune our minds to this reality. In much the same way, New Year’s Day, the first day of a New Semester, can provide us with a great opportunity to reprioritize and set new goals. It seems to be that the Christian life is marked by such patterns of new beginnings: forgiveness, growth, new life. That first moment of resolution after a sincere Confession; that moment when true forgiveness is given to a brother; that moment when you commit again to personal prayer; that moment when you receive a new Sacrament; that moment when you respond in faith to the new impulses of the Holy Spirit…Our Christian life is marked by these moments of new beginning, and gives us the hope we need to carry on.

In a way reflective of that Christian way of life, the beginning of a New Semester has a kind of power to give us hope once again; to attack studies with energy and purpose; to discard the bad habits of the previous semester; to learn from past mistakes and form a new life; to focus our mind on the purpose of our time in Gaming, and for Whom we are living. Our students have begun these first days with vigor and new strength, and we ask for your prayers to sustain us as time goes on, and the courage to begin again when we lose that spark. As St. Francis de Sales said: “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.”