Before the Easter break we celebrated the International Day of Happiness. On the day itself Mr Paul McCormack led us in our morning prayer, addressing the very question of what makes us happy. As part of the question, a deeper reflection ensued, giving it that Ignatian flavour: what gives us a true sense of happiness?
This morning I re-echo the same sentiments. We are still in Eastertide – a time of great joy and hope. The Resurrection Story provides us with every reason to have a happiness that goes beyond the here and now; it gives us trust in an eternal life, the anticipation that this world is not the end and a deep desire for meeting our loved ones once again.
Let us think for a moment of someone that we may have lost from this world – someone who left us with huge loss and the sadness that comes with that. Now let us think for another moment, of being reunited with that person and the sheer joy to share a world with them again. This is the type of happiness and joy that St Ignatius anticipated.
If this is something that you cannot connect with, then think of a hard time in life that you have gone through (or are going through) holding on to the belief that the ‘cross’ will pass and that there will be a ‘resurrection’ time – a time that will ultimately lead us to smile again. Again, this is the type of happiness and joy anticipated by St Ignatius.
St. Ignatius’ belief that it is the noble desires closest to our hearts that make us most happy deep down and that these are what reveal God’s plan for us. Ignatian spirituality helps us to get in sync with God’s plan for each of us. When we are working along with God’s plan we are most deeply happy and fulfilled. The question to be constantly asked in decision making is, “What do I really want, deep down?” That’s what God wants too. God wants what is best for us, because he has created us and therefore knows what will truly satisfy us.
This morning and in the coming days we are inviting all of students and staff to partake in our ‘Happy Wall’ activity, whereby you post on the wall underneath the sign simply what makes you happy or what you are grateful for. It could be the simplest of things or the most deep and thought provoking
The purpose of this wall is to continue our conversation around our Amber Flag Initiative especially in the run up to the Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday, 26th April. Our hope is that – by then – this wall will be covered in colourful post-its indicating the diversity of all that makes us happy as a school community and perhaps giving each other different ideas and aspects in delivering this happiness.
Please feel free to help us build the momentum and keep it trending by using the hashtags #share the happy, #happy wall. At each morning prayer over the next two weeks, the prayers will have themes of gratitude and a random post-it will be taken from the wall and read out at the end of the prayer.
The most beautiful way to start and end the day is with a grateful heart.
Ms Anne-Marie Dolan, Pastoral Co-Ordinator