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Strength of the Week – Love

Love is one of the most empowering character strengths of all. They say it can ‘move mountains’, and energise us towards objectives like no other catalyst. Thousands of songs, poems, books and letters have been written about it. Just think about you would do for your children or loved ones, and what you have done! Many of us can attest to actions and change they would have never thought possible without such a powerful force of nature. Is there anything more powerful?

In his letter to the Corinthians (Chapter 13 verses 4-7), St Paul defined love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Together with last week’s strength of kindness and next week’s, gratitude, love is like the second of the ‘triple antigen vaccine’ that protects our wellbeing and our relationships with others.

Over past years we have become increasingly aware of the endless interconnectedness of the world, and of the truth that none of us can live well in isolation. Love creates positive emotions which help us to overcome loneliness, anxiety, and depression; it is linked to good health and longevity; and provides a sense of purpose in life. Love, as we were reminded at Year 9 Retreat with its focus on Laudato Si’, also needs to be directed at the world we live in, at other peoples and at the environment, so that we can safeguard our world for future generations.

But life wasn’t meant to be easy, as they say, and there are days when we are all tested, especially when circumstances out of our control surround us, and contribute to momentary loss of focus. Having said this, seeing a situation through the lens of love does always help us to view things in a more positive way. It helps us feel better and be healthier, and fundamentally helps each of us to contribute to the community where we are all known, valued and cared for.

We can all accept the challenge of working with love in mind in many ways. Currently, while senior school staff encourage their students towards exams, teams of staff led by Year 7 Director and Assistant Director, Daniel Jones and Sally Whelan, are planning meticulously to welcome 2024’s Year 7 students with love; Year 8 and 9 Leaders are both working with Primary buddies before the year comes to an end. We can also show our love for others through the generosity of spirit we can use to support social justice initiatives such as the charity collections for Vinnies, Hutt St and other initiatives soon to be the focus in the middle years at SMC. This love speaks volumes and has far reaching consequences, as the love of Jesus works through us to help those in need.

As a community, we show love towards each other, supporting each other in the hardest of times and celebrating together in times of joy. We look forward to the special time of Christmas as we celebrate Advent in coming weeks, together.

Wishing you warmth and love as we approach the end of the term and the Christmas season!

Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Wellbeing Initiatives Leader