As teachers and school leaders face these days of darkness, the Alliance for Catholic Education invites you to join us as we walk toward the light that our faith tells us lies ahead.
Each Monday, join us for Grace Period, a weekly series of audio reflections by Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, designed to meet your busy schedule as teachers and educators and help you pause, listen for God’s voice in your life, and begin anew.
And each day, we invite you to pray Anchor Point, a daily prayer to proclaim God’s love to begin the day and proclaim God’s faithfulness as the day draws to a close.
We pray that each of you find grace in each day, and we thank you for all you do for Catholic schools.
Subscribe below and Grace Period will be sent directly to you each Monday morning. You'll be one tap away from listening to it on your drive to work or at the start of class!
Week 7: Christ is risen, alleluia! Christ is truly risen, alleluia!
We began the journey of Grace Period on Noah’s ark, weathering the first global pandemic and the destructive waters of the Great Flood.
We continued the journey on the waters of Galilee, where our travels were beset by sudden squalls that threatened to swamp our boat.
And last week, Holy Week, we walked the great storm of Jesus’ Way of the Cross.
These waters, which disrupted our lives, which threatened our lives and were the cause of so much fear – Christ has walked over them, and stands firmly now on the shore.
How? The Gospel’s ultimate answer is so simple, yet it is our greatest discovery: Christ is risen, alleluia! Christ is truly risen, alleluia!
Thank you for walking this journey of grace with us over these past weeks. May our Risen Lord who has conquered the storm fill us with hope as we guide our boats to shore.
Week 6: Walking with Christ through Holy Week
Fr. Lou invites us to walk during this Holy Week with Jesus through the great storm of His life.
Though Christ’s Way of the Cross is utterly singular in human experience, He also teaches us that His journey is one we must all make, each in our own way.
And Jesus invites us to make it – like Him, as a journey of self-sacrifice – but also as a journey of hope.
Week 5: Persevering with Hope
Fr. Lou focuses on how we can persevere with hope when it seems like Christ is absent during our time of need.
We look to the Gospel of Mark, when a furious squall threatens to sink the disciples' boat as Jesus sleeps.
Was Christ powerless against the squall? Did he not care?
Jesus was showing them (and us) what it's like to trust, even in a storm, that we have a God who has our lives—and all that happens within them—securely in hand.
The more we can allow this bedrock spiritual reality to settle into our souls, the more calm and hopeful we can be in the midst of life's storms.
Week 4: Focused on Christ
Fr. Lou continues with the story of the disciples in the storm and focuses on Saint Peter as an example for all of us amidst the storms of this school year.
While ever so flawed, Peter knows there is one in the storm who is greater than the storm, and sends himself out onto the waves toward Christ.
This week, our prayer is that we might always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and recommit to the practices—the Eucharist, Scripture, and daily prayer—that keep us centered on Him.
Week 3: "Do not be afraid, I am here with you"
Fr. Lou exchanges Noah's ark for a fishing boat and the New Testament story of Jesus and the disciples in the storm.
Just as the disciples were overcome with fear in the middle of the storm, we too have shouldered fear and uncertainty this school year.
This week, take some time to reflect on the role that fear has played in your life this year. Then allow yourself to be taken in by Christ's response to the disciples: "Do not be afraid, I am here with you," and continue to live in hope.
Week 2: Hope is a Gift
Fr. Lou focuses on the faint stirring in Noah's heart which gets him out of bed and calls him to action—even when that action seems a bit absurd given the circumstances.
That stirring is hope.
Hope is a gift, a divine gift offered by God right into our hearts that then seeps from our hearts into our limbs.
Our prayer this week is to be evermore open to this gift, which our classrooms and communities so need—God's gift of hope.
Week 1: Noah and the Global Flood
As we move through these final months of the pandemic, Fr. Lou looks at another global crisis, a Biblical one, perhaps the global crisis ever recorded, and the spiritual gifts it called forth among God’s people.
If you would like free copies of this bookmark sent to you for your school's faculty, staff, and administration, please fill out this brief form. We will provide as many copies as needed as long as supplies last.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to proclaim your love at daybreak, your faithfulness in the night” (Psalm 92:2-3)
Proclaiming God’s Love at Daybreak
Christ, our Light,
Thank you for the gift of this day.
I open myself to receive the gift of your light, your hope.
So may my day and all that I think, say, and do in it,
Be filled with my awareness of Your presence.
Christ, our Teacher,
I pray that the gift of your grace will grant me eyes to see your love at work
In the faces of my students and their families,
my colleagues, my family, and my friends,
And all whom I encounter today.
Christ, our Hope,
Grant me a heart filled with the joy of your presence,
and the call and courage to share that joy with all who may be burdened this day.
Open me, when I am burdened, to the joy and light offered me by others.
And so, let this day become a prayer of gratitude to you.
Proclaiming God’s Faithfulness in the Night
As the day draws to a close, Lord, I ask for your grace as I reflect upon this day.
- Where have I seen light in this day? Where have I seen hope in this day?
- In whom did I see the face of Christ today? Where might I have missed the face of Christ?
- When did I feel called to meet the burdens of others? When did I have the courage to allow others to meet me in my own burdens?
In gratitude, Lord, for all of the ways you have been faithful to me today, I pray all of these things in the name of your Son, Christ, Our Teacher.