On Thursday afternoon when my friends and I arrived in Downtown Disney, I got out my little map and route the way to the oversized Disney shop. I take a few steps into the park and notice a small circular area with holes in the ground for water to shoot up a few feet in the air and in which kids play. I looked at it, thought “Would ya look at that, how cute,” and was ready to move. But, God seemed to throw a curveball. I saw out of the corner of my eye a toddler, I’d say about the age of three, run into that area all alone. He jumped around, ran from hole to hole covering them up with his feet as water splashed out of them. As his family watched, my friends yelled out my name “Come on, man,” My mind began to race back to my first trip to Disney World when I was only four years old. Was I like this little kid? Jumping around, having fun, totally enraptured in the fun and truly magical times that Disney has to offer? I couldn’t help but smile. What an incredible gift it is to experience this type of joy, especially in what is said to be the happiest place on earth.
Jesus teaches us in the Gospel of Matthew this very simple and important message – “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-3). I never really totally understand this concept until I saw what happened in Downtown Disney. But I understand now. Jesus is telling us to just be…just live in the moment. Enjoy things just like little kids do. I am truly blessed that I was able to experience the joy Jesus talks about for three days with my classmates in Disney. Jesus calls us to experience this joy in our religious vocation. Easier said than done it seems. But go ahead, splash, jump, and run into the arms of Christ. Welcome my friends, to the joy of a religious vocation.
Contributed by one of our Marianist high school students
"Mary is present. She is watching over us with maternal solicitude, making herself all to all, and apportioning her help according to our needs. She is the strength of the weak, the foot of the lame, the eye of the blind, the ear of the deaf. She enriches the poor, protects the timid, disarms the angry, touches the heart of the ungrateful, and never abandons anyone. Virtue, it is true, is the object of her complacency; yet the sinner finds in her a shelter and a refuge against the wrath of heaven."
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade