I’m not sure where my parents got them from. Nobody in my household smoked cigars. I suppose Dad had to go where only Dads could go to get one. Still, I would show up on the first day of school with a fresh, clean cigar box. It still smelled like cigars too. It would be appalling to many people today to know that grade schools were teaching children to love the smell of tobacco.
But cigar boxes were sturdy – and somehow made me feel sophisticated. I surely was being promoted up the chain of maturity, I figured, if I were being equipped with such a strongbox that smelled of grown-up things and could only be procured through a covert mission by my father.
I was certain that I would be storing some pretty valuable treasures in that box – and then I could secure it up with a couple of rubber bands and hide it away. I had the feeling that nobody would ever be able to pillage what was concealed within.
That was many years ago and now the school year begins for another generation. Families have been given their back-to-school supply lists, but there is something even more cherished and sacrosanct that they are being asked to hand over to their children so that they will be ready for what lies ahead.
We share with our children the gift of our Catholic faith.
Faith is that most valuable of treasures that we keep secure in the strongbox of our hearts. Throughout the school year the children will be involved in all sorts of classroom experiences, activities, sports, social functions, field trips, etc. May they also have daily encounters with the personal presence of God – His divine beauty, goodness, and truth.
Keep Sunday Mass and daily prayer as the heart and strength of your week. The more that we can put God first the more we will see that no troubles or threats will be able to pillage the treasures of grace stored up within us.
Thanks be to God for our faithful parents, teachers, and catechists who pour into the children such holy love. God lead us in hope and joy through the school year ahead.