Lent is a time of prayer and reflection in the hopes we become better versions of ourselves. (Matthew Kelly) As a Catholic Institution we have certain practices we follow in an effort to achieve this goal. Particularly there are three most noteworthy. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. As St. Peter Chrysologus said “ Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains and mercy receives.” These three are essential to keep faith alive an active and to prevent it from becoming simply a show. He goes on to state, if you want God to know you are hungry (fasting) go feed someone who is hungry, if you want God to show you mercy, go and show mercy. The paradox of the Christian message is that we can gain nothing if we do not first give it away. I suppose it can be likened to a house that is being expanded. There will be a portion of the old house that will need to be removed for the new to be added. Perhaps the old section is not in bad shape, but it needs to go if something better is to be built. The old and the new cannot occupy the same space. So if we want God to do something new in our lives or in the lives of our children we need to get rid of that which is in the way.
We see this in the lives of our children, they must let go of childish ways if they are to become adults. Sometimes this is hard but it has to be done if we want our kids to grow to become the young men and women they were meant to be. This is why we encourage students to be advocates for their education, why we challenge them to develop new skills and why we hold them responsible for work. Parents and schools want the best for the students, namely for them to grow into young men and women and then graduate, making space for the new students.