13.9.14

September 13, 2014

Announcements
●On September 30 and October 1, Mrs. Patricia Hierro will be holding SAT classes here at the school for the juniors and seniors during the school day.  She will also be available for students in the afternoon and evening hours. 

● Please remember that there is a meeting on Sunday, September 21, at 7:00 PM, for all parents who are volunteering at the upcoming Gala.

● School pictures will be taken Tuesday, September 23rd. Students should be sure to have clean ties and blazers as well as being clean shaven with appropriate haircuts.

● Monday, September 29th is a non-school day in honor of The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.  No weekenders will be allowed at school. Students return that evening between 6:45 and 7:45 PM.

● Parents are reminded that, during the colder winter days, the students are allowed to wear navy blue or gray (one solid color only) cardigan or pullover sweaters under their blazers as part of their school uniform.   Hooded sweatshirts are allowed only during the recreation times.


Athletics
● The next football game is this Friday, at 6:30 PM, against Noli Indian School (24335 Soboba Rd., San Jacinto, CA 92583).

● The next cross country race is this Friday, at 5:00 PM, at Orange County Great Park (Irvine, CA).

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest of St. Michael’s Abbey

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and because this feast is of such a high liturgical rank, it takes the place of the usual Sunday Mass.  To give such prominence to this feast makes perfect sense when you consider how important the Cross is in the life of Christ, in the life of the Church, and in our own individual lives—as today’s Introit reminds us:  We must glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which is our salvation, life and resurrection, through which we have been saved and freed.

Did you ever stop and think how utterly insane it must have seemed to the natives of North America when Bl. Junipero Serra and the other Catholic missionaries who came over to convert them, took out a crucifix and said, “This is our God”? You can almost imagine their reaction: 
“Your God? You must mean the enemy of your God, right? The one your God conquered.  This
statue you show us is of a man who just lost a battle.  He is obviously no great warrior.  He is obviously a weak one, the one over whom your God was victorious.” --“No, no.  This, this is our God, the man on the Cross.  He allowed this to happen to Himself.  He wanted to do this for us because He loves us.”  --“He became a victim for you because He loves you?” 

The wisdom of God and its apparent absurdity, its foolishness in the eyes of men, is presented most clearly in the Cross.  It is by the Cross that Christ conquered sin; it is by the Cross that Christ showed His love for the Father and for us; and it is by carrying our own cross that we show our love for Christ and share in His plan of redemption. 

Our Lord says somewhere in the Gospel, “Come, you who are weary and find life burdensome.  Come and take My yoke upon your shoulders.”  Now, this doesn’t exactly seem like the best way to ease someone’s burden.  “Tired, worn out? Here, put a little more weight on your shoulders.  Feel better?”  The great wisdom of God can really seem to be foolishness to those who do not know Christ.

You don’t have to be an expert in ancient agricultural techniques to know that a farmer would usually make or buy a yoke that would fit well on the shoulders of his animal.  The yoke would only really hurt if the animal tried to shake it off.  Then it would begun to cut into the animal’s back; and the more the animal tried to get from out beneath it, the more pain it would cause.

Suffering, weariness, tiredness, are all effects of sin, the sin of our first parents.  The existence of such daily crosses cannot be denied by even an atheist; but something an unbeliever does not see is that such hardships can become not only light and easy, but even sweet and causes of great joy.  How? By uniting them to the Cross of Christ, that is, by accepting them with humility and
complete resignation, by seeing in them your key to heaven and a chance to glorify God.  And this is what our Blessed Lord means when He tells us that, if you are overburdened, to take His yoke upon you, and you will find rest—rest even in the midst of the very trials that weigh you down.  Or as He Himself once told Bl. Bronislava, a Norbertine nun:  “My cross is your cross, but My glory shall be your glory.”

The cross will only be too much to bear for those who seek to shake it off and even trample it down.  These it will bother, then cut into, and someday crush.  But those who embrace it will soon find that the more tightly one holds it, the lighter it becomes.  St. Francis De Sales once said the following:  The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from all eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost Heart.  This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.  He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

Always hold fast to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  See in it your key to salvation.  Love His Cross and never let go of it; and by means of it He will draw you to Himself.
    

Prayer Requests
● For Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is undergoing some health problems.
● For the repose of the soul of Rey Quebral, the uncle of John Howard.
● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.

5.9.14

September 6, 2014

Announcements
●On September 30 and October 1, Mrs. Patricia Hierro will be holding SAT classes here at the school for the juniors and seniors during the school day.  She will also be available for students in the afternoon and evening hours. 
● Please remember that there is a meeting on Sunday, September 21, at 7:00 PM, for all parents who are volunteering at the upcoming Gala.
● Parents are reminded that, during the colder winter days, the students are allowed to wear navy blue or gray (one solid color only) cardigan sweaters as part of their school uniform.   Hooded sweatshirts are allowed only during the recreation times.



Athletics
● Congratulations to our football team on their recent victory over Cornerstone Christian, 40-16!
● The next football game is scheduled for Friday, September 12, at East Valley High School (5525 Vineland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91601), at 7:00 PM.

● The cross country teams first meet is on Saturday, September 13, at 8:00 AM, at Laguna Hills High School (25401 Paseo De Valencia, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)


Alumni
● Moises Gomez (Class of 2014) made the school soccer team at the University of Dallas.  He and Andrew Bonello (Class of 2014) are both freshmen there.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest of St. Michael’s Abbey
Love Becomes Possible in Reaching Out Toward Someone Else

“Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence love is the fulfillment of the law.” In the midst of talking about love of God and love of neighbor, fraternal admonition and correction, Pope St Gregory the Great, whom we celebrated recently, makes an important observation. He says that love always involves two parties, or there can be no fewer than two: “Strictly speaking,” he says, “no one is said to have love for himself; love becomes possible when one reaches out toward someone else.”

The fact that we were made to love and be loved, to be united to God and to others in various relationships, that fact explains a lot about why people generally feel happy or unhappy. If one is usually happy, there is a strong sense of love and self-worth, not to mention acceptance. If one is mostly unhappy, there is evidently a lack of a sense of love. There is a lack of feeling understood, a fear to reach out, a fear to be vulnerable.


The importance of reaching out to those around us is critical in family life as in the religious community, whether it takes the form of correction or affirmation, both of which we see in today’s Gospel. How many times do we hear Jesus say truly affirming things such as, Great is your faith; your faith has saved you; this too is a child of Abraham; she has done a beautiful thing to me; behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile—and probably the best example: You are my friends. On this last saying of Jesus, St Gregory says, “How great is our human value, that we should be friends of God!” Is that not what reaching out to one another in family or community is all about? To affirm the human value of my neighbor so that he will see himself more and more as God’s friend?
The Lord praises the good in His disciples so that they will continue to do good, and He expects us to do the same for each other: Love one another as I have loved you. St Gregory interprets this to mean, “You must love for the same reason that I have loved you,” i.e., for spiritual motives, for the good of your neighbor. That is really the justification for our reaching out to others: as God reaches out to us, and Christ extends Himself to us, so we are bound to love as Love itself loves. We cannot withhold ourselves from each other.

Jesus Himself tells us that we will be judged on the basis of our love for Him when He appears as a burden in our lives, as one who is needy. In Matthew 25 the Lord says: I was hungry; I was thirsty; I was a stranger; I was naked; I was sick; I was in prison. And how did you respond? “Love becomes possible when one reaches out toward someone else.” You gave me food; you gave me drink; you welcomed me; you clothed me; you visited me; you came to me. What beautiful words of gratitude from the lips of our Savior!

Alumni Begin Their College Years
If we consider carefully what He is saying here about the least of His brethren, we draw the inevitable conclusion that at some point we will be Christ in this way for others. That is, we will be the weak ones, the needy ones, the estranged ones, the ones who feel trapped by some problem as though we were imprisoned by it. Maybe we thought that we would never be in a position to need anyone’s help. We would mend our own faults, overcome our sins on our own, become masters of self-help. We would be the ones consulted, not the ones needing help.

The type of fraternal love of which our Lord speaks in the Gospel shows us that this cannot be so. Correction presumes fault, just as praise and affirmation presume goodness. Both are necessary types of love that God extends to us and expects us to extend to one another. Both will cost us. Both demand that we set self aside for the sake of another. Especially in correction, we have to be prepared always for some hurt feelings, usually on both sides.

Feast of St. Augustine Beach Outing
But in so losing ourselves for the love of our brethren, we find the love for which our entire life is a search and a journey. “Love becomes possible when one reaches out toward someone else.” Just as he who loses his life for Christ finds it, so he who renounces self-love and spends himself for his neighbor will find the love which he thought he had lost. In our neighbor we will find not self, but Christ.


Prayer Requests

● For Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is undergoing some health problems.
● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.