January 20, 2014

The World's Way

 (A Benedictine Values talk given at weekly Monday chapel assembly)

"INTEGRITY: Your way of acting should be different from the world's way; the love of Christ must come before all else. (Rule of St. Benedict)

Last week Fr. Richard spoke to us about a recent alum that visited him over Christmas break and shared his struggles with the disturbing lack of values and morals he observed around him at college.  In other words the “The world’s way”

So what do we mean that a Life of Integrity is a life different from the world’s way?
A few years ago we had a guest speaker at the Father –Son dinner who started his presentation with a video featuring an economist named Milton Friedman. The emphasis of which was greed.  The gist of the presentation was that greed is good it is what motivates people and makes the world go round. The overall message of the speaker’s talk was that power, wealth, and prestige is what being successful is about.  I personally felt very uncomfortable with the presentation. 

At the end of the talk the presenter asked if anyone had any questions.  One of the students, a senior, Tommy Feichtinger, whom many of you know either personally or by reputation, raised his hand; stood and pointed out that by the speaker’s definition he was going to be a failure because he wanted to become a teacher, which we all know is not about power, wealth or prestige.  I’ve never been prouder of a Mount Michael student.   Tommy is a cross country state champion and winner of multiple all class gold medals in track and an outstanding college runner.  He understands motivation and success.  He knows the pure joy of competition. It isn’t about prestige and honor it is about doing your best and seeing how far you can push yourself.  Success never went to his head.  He is a warm caring person.  Tommy understands the Benedictine way, a life of integrity.

Mount Michael is about preparing students to be successful in life. Some of you will no doubt have great financial success but don’t let it be you motivation. Be motivated by making a difference in the world, to cure people of illness, create businesses that provide livelihoods for workers, invent and innovate, lead, teach and train others to make a better world.

Knights on Mission Trip to Mexico: Building a Home
Today enjoy success in athletic and academic competition.  Have fun, win medals, trophies and plaques. But don’t let success go to your head.  Cherish your teammates, honor and respect your competitors, judges, officials, coaches and all of those around you.
Competitions and honors are all great things that reward a strong work ethic but what most sets you apart from the world’s way and is most praiseworthy is sharing your time and talents for things like helping at Heart Ministry and mission trips to build homes in Mexico for the poor.

Grow to be men of Integrity whose lives have meaning and purpose.  Live your lives for the betterment of mankind not for personal gain, honor or prestige. Then you will be living lives as men of integrity.