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Dear Student A recollection is like a mini-retreat

Dear Student
A recollection is like a mini-retreat. It is a time to step back a little from our daily life, renew our relationship with God and learn more about how to love others. It is an opportunity to reassess and renew our resolutions, to bring a fresh outlook to our life.
Recollection, as understood in respect to the spiritual life, means attention to the presence of God in the soul. It includes the withdrawal of the mind from external and earthly affairs in order to attend to God and Divine things. It is the same as interior solitude in which the soul is alone with God.
So, as you come to the end of another recollection activity, we need to remember that life is a classroom for those who are willing to learn its many lessons – and living faith opens our eyes and shines light on the way. I hope that your learning does not end here but continues after you have left this classroom.
Society tells us to never slow down, to do more, be more which keeps us running frantically from one thing to the next. Everything in our lives is fast paced, and any time spent in reflection is seen as “wasted” time. And unfortunately, as Christians and as students, we are whisked along from one subject to another, from one activity to the next. Slowing down is simply not something we are good at.
So what is the value of the reflection or recollection? Regular reflection always reminds us to constantly “check in” on the state of our spiritual lives. We can take an honest look at ourselves and see our weaknesses and our strengths.
Reflection also allows us to keep our spiritual things in the forefront of our minds. If we reflect daily on what God is doing and has done in our lives, it makes living in God’s presence (coram Deo) much easier for us. Reflection allows us to look for God—in our own lives, in the lives of those around us, in our churches, and in our world.
I believe wholeheartedly that reflection is something that we as Christians need to integrate into our daily lives – not just when we partake on a school led reflection or recollection exercise. Reflecting on who we are, who God is making us, how God is working in us, and how God is working around us will allow us to live more fully Christian lives. Christian reflection will allow us to step away from the worldliness of life and reorient ourselves to our Savior and Creator. Reflection will truly allow us to become better disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I would like to leave you with a few things to think about, pray over, and hopefully remember and refer to as you journey on in life:
Your faith – God loves you, no matter what. Stay true to yourself and always love and serve Him. Stay devoted to the Catholic faith and be men and women of prayer and observe the sacraments. Never forget you were made for heaven and not the world.
Core values – Your parents have taught you the difference between right and wrong. Our Catholic faith has helped you learn to love your neighbour and serve others. Never lose touch with your values—they define who you are. Don’t be tempted to sacrifice your values for a little temporary comfort or pleasure.
Education – School isn’t always going to be fun. It wasn’t for me either. But, it is very important to have a quality education if you want to have good career options. Never be satisfied that you know enough. Become lifelong learners, not only in school, but also about your spiritual faith. Be always curious about other people and life in general.
Responsibility – We all must be responsible. If you are involved in an activity or project, act responsible and be a leader. Don’t wait for somebody else to take responsibility. It may be up to you. You are always responsible for your actions.
Work Ethic – Nothing in life is truly free. Work hard and you will be rewarded. There is no “magic bullet” or “instant riches”. There is no substitute for hard work.
Friendships – Be true to yourself and your friends. Hang out with people who share your values. Be a good enough friend to others that you always tell them the truth. This is the sign of a true friend. If your friends go down a path you know is wrong, stand your ground and do not follow. Do not abandon your faith or your values to follow the crowd. You will hopefully have a few close friends who stay with you a lifetime and they are to be treasured as gifts from God.
Love – You will meet lots and lots of girls and boys in your lives. Treat them all with dignity and respect. Care more about their inner beauty than their outward appearance. God has created a person for each of us. Pray and be guided in your search and above all be patient.
Be Yourself – Don’t ever pretend to be someone else. You are who God created you to be. Don’t be tempted to hide your true self, your faith, or what you really think from others.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Always remember God loves you and He will never abandon you. He wants you to learn, grow, and think for yourselves, but never stray from His love.
So, as you continue your journey, I pray that God be with each one of you and that He fill you with an unquenchable desire to learn, to have a compassionate spirit, and the wisdom to look beyond outward appearances to the heart within. I pray that you will be surrounded with friends and leaders who would challenge and help mould and grow you to be future leaders and Christians.
I pray for peace to cover you and for laughter and joy to fill your days. I pray that God will give you boldness and courage to face challenges set before you, with the confidence and peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
I ask that God raise up greatness in each of your lives, and the greatness in this generation, and let you know and believe that God has designed a grand purpose for each of you.
May God be a lamp at your feet, and a light to your path. May He shine over you and fill you with the Spirit.
In His precious name. Amen.