Time of Transitions
This time of year we have tons of graduations: graduations from Elementary School, High School and University. With this comes lots of parties and receptions to celebrate the graduates’ successes and accomplishments. It is always such a joyous time of year and there is such relief with the graduates that they have finally completed it.
Soon thereafter they all realize things are not really “completed” as much as they thought and it is more a transition to the next stage of life. That takes a while to sink in and when it does it can cause further excitement but also anxiety. These transitions present lots of opportunity and those can indeed be super exciting, such as a new High School and the possibility of meeting lots of new friends and new sports opportunities. Or moving out of the family home and into one’s own apartment or room at college. It all seems so exciting and it is for so many.
However, increasingly these transitions are causing a lot of stress and anxiety because so much change is hard to accept for the young people. So much happens so fast, it is hard for them to take it all in. One of the most stressful components is that they will have to make new friends and these days that seems to be harder than ever with the advent of social media where everything is laid out in writing for everyone to judge, forever! More than ever, they are relying on family connections to keep their lives “normal” and look to parents and other family members for further insights. As a result, it can be equally as stressful for families.
I know it sounds pious but I really believe we need to pray for our young people. We can genuinely lift them up to the Lord each day and ask the Lord to guide them in this time of transition. But it is equally as important for us to pray for ourselves to have the right words at the right times for them. That will require us to become people of prayer, where we genuinely listen to Jesus in our prayers. So much of the drama of family life could be lessened if we all became people of daily quiet prayer, listening to the Lord in our hearts.
So this week, congratulate your children, your nieces/nephews, grandchildren and children of your friends who are graduating from their different schools, but let’s pray for them too. May we become men and women of prayer so we can become wisdom figures in their lives and help them as others helped us through our transitions in life.
Fr. Brendan McGuire