Let us start this year conscious of the presence of God in each one of us, in everyone and everything around us, in all that we say and do and in all that will happen throughout the coming year. Let the reassuring words of God, ‘Do not fear, for I am with you’ (Is 41:10), echo in our ears. Let us recognise that God has laid out only the best plans for each one of us, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope’ (Jer 29:11).

It is significant that at the end of this week we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us, at the start of this academic year, place all our hopes and expectation, our fears and doubts in the care of Mary and trust that she will walk with us and watch over us as she did Jesus her own son.

And as you begin this year we pray this blessing upon your work as teachers:

May the light of your soul guide you.

May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.

May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.

May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those

Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.

May your work never weary you.

May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.

May you be present in what you do.

May you never become lost in the bland absences.

May the day never burden you.

May dawn find you awake and alert,

approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.

May your soul calm, console and renew you.

SIGNIFICANT DAYS THIS WEEK: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8 September); International Literacy Day (8 September)

READ: Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew Joint Statement on World day of Prayer for Creation

WATCH: The Pope’s Prayer intention for all our parishes

CONSIDER: Get actively involved in this year’s Season of Creation