New (school) Year’s Blessing

Working in education, August has always felt more like the start of a new year to me than January. The weather’s gorgeous and, even though administration works year-round, we still feel refreshed after a summer of fewer events and less campus traffic. Below is an excerpt from our faculty and staff start-of-the-year prayer service, which I share for all of us starting on journeys this month. Cheers to a great year ahead!

Teach us the wisdom of generosity — the simple kindness to make room in our lives for new friends, new colleagues, new students, new teachers; and give us the extravagant simplicity to know we need them as much as they need us.

Make us perceptive enough to recognize the loneliness around or within us, strong enough to name it, and gentle enough to ease it. And grant us the generosity of intellect — to inhabit our doubts long enough to befriend and follow them; to listen to those with whom we disagree long enough to learn from them.

Teach us the wisdom of humor and humility — the freedom to take ourselves lightly, to laugh, and the courage to live slowly and simply as though our worth did not finally depend on our work, because it does not.

May we remember that life is brief. Let our kindness be swift and our perspective broad.

Holy Wisdom, be planted deep within us and scattered wide among us, so that when the snows have come and thawed and the mud runs dry, and the light stretches again to its full length, may we be found at the far end of this new year flowering with humanity, mercy, friendship, and wisdom.

Amen.

—Kerry Maloney

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