Centralia, Illinois

Our Principal's Corner

Our Principal's Corner


Train Yourself in Godliness!

April 25, 2019


by Mr. Swann, Principal




Reflection for 4/25/19: 

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites for many reasons. In the First Letter of Paul to Timothy, Paul is instructing Timothy to train himself up in “godliness” and to not be afraid if people think or say he is too young to be leading and delivering the mission of Christ to the people. What an excellent message for our young people in our Catholic schools! What an excellent message for ALL of us! Upon taking a closer look however, we begin to see that Paul is much more than a cheerleader for Timothy. Paul is pretty straight forward more so in direction than encouragement; in mentorship than assistance. One thing I’ve always admired about Paul, or anyone leader for that matter, is his delivery. 

“Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way.” Training…I know as a former athlete the intensity that comes with this word. It’s not simply a workout, it is a series or regiment of workouts which will culminate in a physical success. As a college football player, we trained months out of the year for a single season, 6 days a week, hours a day in the weight room, on the field and in the film room for one game. Training wasn’t just going out one morning and running a few miles and being ready to go and Paul is reminding us that our godly training requires the same effort and commitment! Sports is usually an easy sell to our youth because they all want to be the next LeBron James or Tom Brady (that was Michael Jordan and Joe Montana in my day!) but I’ve yet to see any kid lining up to be the next St. Paul or St. Peter. Have you? Are we training them, mentoring them the way Paul is instructing Timothy to do for himself? 

“Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” During hall prayer this morning I challenged our youth to ask the questions they have regarding their faith, to seek answers to why our Catholic faith represents what it does, and to go out and (dare I say) evangelize the Word of God and our Catholic faith to people who question. This all sounds great to many of you I’m sure but before you nod your head too quickly, I want you to remember who it will be they will ask……us. Are we training ourselves up in godliness? Are we living to set believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity? Are we in fact the ones Paul is talking about in those who are “despising” our children in their youth? Paul instructs Timothy that it won’t be easy “for to this end we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God” and that through our training will prevail. 

It is on OUR shoulders, just as it was on Paul’s to “grow” Timothy, to grow our youth! I get it, you’re not perfect and nor am I. I’ll save the suspense for you, neither of us ever will be but perfection isn’t the goal…growth is. Just as in athletic training the goal is to get better, stronger, faster, better reaction time, wiser in situations and the goal for our Christianity is the same. That is why we are supposed to train, not just for our own souls, but for those souls who are watching us. 

“If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed.” 1 Timothy 4:6, 7b-8, 10-12. 

Mr. Swann/Principal


[Posted April 26, 2019]

Our Principal's Corner