The Hum of Contentment

By: Joan Mangino

John 15:5

Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.


During my first year as campus minister, my goal was to support the teachers through reflections and material that would strengthen their background and faith. At the request of a new teacher, I went into her class once a week. I followed a nudge from the Holy Spirit to let the students see that saints were just everyday people who, through that same Holy Spirit, became strong and loving men and women of God.

This worked so well that I did the same in each classroom the following year. The Spirit had used a new teacher to speak to me.

The second year, I delighted in sharing Old Testament stories with my classes. I found such a spiritual openness in my youngest students. The joy we experienced in these stories assured me of the Spirit’s guidance. In the upper grades, there was more trial and error. But with the use of a question box (suggested by a teacher) and asking the teachers where I could help them, a curriculum took shape.

My biggest challenge came when a teacher asked if I would help the students memorize prayers designated by the curriculum standards. In an effort to cooperate, I decided to try my best. As a class, we defined the unfamiliar words of the prayer. This struck a good note with the students. A copy of the prayer was taped to their desks to be used during the day and to facilitate memorization. Finally, I made a coloring page using the words of the prayer. I encouraged the use of colors and symbols to express the meaning and emotion of the prayer. For instance, many used bursts of color (like fireworks) to express praise. The hum of contentment filled the room as we learned our prayers. The Spirit honored my openness.


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Do I submit to and trust in my superiors at work? What has the outcome been when I have?