Mike Tishka ’15
The motto of Brother Rice is to “Act Manfully in Christ Jesus,” and this means to act in ways that Jesus would want you to act. This doesn’t mean that we have to go out and perform miracles like Jesus did; it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our entire life for someone, and it doesn’t mean that we have to perform acts of extreme kindness. Jesus set himself as a model for us. He was gentle and forgiving, truthful and blunt. When He was challenged about his teachings, He always answered directly and without apology. If we follow His lead, we won’t have to cover up or try to make excuses for ourselves. As humans, mistakes are inevitable and will happen often. When they do happen though, we are to admit it instead of trying to defend ourselves or make excuses, apologize, ask forgiveness from God and others if they have been wronged, and make things right whenever possible. Basically, to live like Jesus is to live a life of forgiveness, one in which we don’t hold grudges and one in which we become the better person and apologize for our mistakes rather than be stubborn and refuse to admit that we are wrong.
Recognizing Jesus as our Lord and Savior and doing great things will not automatically punch us a ticket into heaven. He emphasized that we have to live by God’s instructions and to do His will. Yes, it is important to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, but it is even more important to live according to His teachings, which come from God. We must worship God in both spirit and in truth. Just any form of belief and worship in God won’t do. Instead, we have to be sincere in worshipping Him as well as being true to our belief. As difficult as it may be for many teenagers including myself, going to church is a vital part in acting manfully in Jesus. This goes hand-in-hand with sincere worship as our attendance at mass says a lot about how serious we are in living like Christ.
Other ways in which we can live like Jesus is to pray regularly and study the Scriptures. We are to be in regular contact with Him and His written words of life in the Bible. He wants us to donate to the poor. We can donate in many ways, such as giving money, donating clothes that don’t fit, or even giving some of our time to help out at a soup kitchen. Jesus said that if we really wanted to be great, we should serve others just as He did. We should not take this literally because none of us would give up our lives for all of humanity, but we can take His teachings and spread them amongst our friends and family. Jesus wants us to use every opportunity we have to do good for others because if we do something good to the least of a fellow Christian, it is as though we have done it to Him personally. Lastly, Jesus wants us to continually examine our lives and change the areas of them that don’t agree with His biblical instructions. We must be able to admit our faults and improve on them in ways that Jesus would want us to improve them. We need to constantly change throughout our entire lives until we are completely changed like Him. We may never reach the point of becoming an exact replica of Jesus, but until the day we die, we can do our best to at least try and match the life that Jesus lived.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this and say that I will do every single thing I talked about and try and live the perfect life. I don’t think there is anyone out there who can perform all of these actions all the time and never experience any falling out with God or Jesus. Many people go through periods where they are not sure how they can even attempt to live like Jesus and this disbelief causes them to stay away from some of God’s teachings. Rice’s motto will always have a spot in my mind. When faced with tough decisions, I will think of “Act Manfully in Christ Jesus” as another version of “What Would Jesus Do?” I feel as if both mottos are similar in meaning and they both hold the same message. They force me to really think about whether or the not the decision I’m about to make is a smart one and they remind me that I can be the better person and refuse to take part in or choose the negative outcome. Spending four years at Rice has taught me to examine myself as a person as has taught me that going with the crowd and choosing the wrong thing to do is almost always never the right decision. Rice has taught me that it’s okay to do the right thing and that peer pressure does not and should not control my life. What I have learned here will guide me on the right path in life and will steer me towards success.
Luke Simon ’15
I applaud Brother Rice for teaching each man to act manfully in Christ Jesus. Most people go through the routine of high school without gaining much knowledge from it, but I think most people who go to Brother Rice take out the most important lesson. Our motto is something we are taught the minute we walk into the doors of Brother Rice, and by the time we leave these halls, we will be living examples of men who act manfully in Christ Jesus.
Danny Capua ’15
Acting manfully in Christ Jesus, as Rice has taught me, will mean doing the right thing and making the right choices in the future. This motto implies respect, honesty, and morality, three things which I will vow to follow throughout college and the rest of my life.
The “manfully” in our motto means respect. As a man of Edmund Rice, I will make it my duty to respect everybody around me. I will shun racism, respect women, and support my parents as they grow old. This also means I will respect myself by not doing drugs or alcohol, and taking care of my body by exercising and eating healthy. Thus, I will give others the respect they deserve and that I deserve.
Acting manfully in Christ Jesus means being completely honest. I will live this virtue by not cheating on tests, never lying to the people I care about, never lying to God, and never lying to myself. It is wrong and I do not want to develop a reputation of being dishonest. It is morally wrong.