Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The First Days

Boys are wonderfully resolute.

You could see them when they were dropped off by parents going through a whole array of emotions... individuals in a new environment, and yet so very soon they become social beings. They fit in and start new routines with little problems.

In recent times we spurn the trapping of what could be called 'Victorian' traditions in school: the outward signs of belonging, of initiation etc. Of course in the Church we understand and value such things, are not the Sacraments themselves 'outward signs of invisible grace'?

So our boys were given their ties and told to uphold the honour and traditions of the school and to do their best. The traditions may not have lived long (but then again these boys have not lived long yet either!), but their sense of identity and belonging is marked the outward sign of conformity - something as simple as a tie.

And if the word 'conformity' makes you shiver with horror, then remember that our lives are called to become more and more like Christ - to be conformed to His image and likeness.

A very lovely thing... as I sat in the Chapel this morning before breakfast, two boys, at different times, quietly came in and said their prayers and then went on their way. It may be that that prayer by one of those boys was destined to change the world.
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