April 17, 2015

·         Students of St. Michael’s will receive the sacrament of Confirmation this Monday, April 20, at 6:30 PM, in the abbey church.  They will be confirmed by Bishop Kevin Vann.  All are welcome to attend.  A modest reception follows in the Perpetual Help classroom.
·         Dads' Night Out (given by Fr. Benedict):  Sunday, April 26, 6:45 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom
·         [***Changed and Updated] Spring Choir Concert:  Sunday, May 17, 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom; a modest reception follows
·         [***Changed and Updated] Spring Sports Award Ceremony: Sunday, May 31, 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom
·         Graduation:  Monday (Memorial Day), May 25, 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard.  All students are required to attend (all parents and families are welcome).

Congratulations to the following students who received an award on the National Latin Exam:
Quinton Dubay, Trevor Nakanishi, Montgomery Smith, Bruno Moebest, Daniel Trainor, Thomas Goodwin, Joseph Verburg, Simon Nguyen (perfect score), Christopher Laygug (perfect score), Dominic Nixon, Max Tittmann, Elliot Simons, Diego, Aguilar, Andrew Book, John Burnham, Michael Kaiser, Stephen Deaton, Michael Gates, Orion LaCour, John Howard, Kenneth Loeffler, Peter Tran, Joshua Viola, Joshua Cabral.

Some of the National Latin Exam Winners

·         Congratulations to Fr. Charbel and our archery team, who beat DaVinci Design in Hawthorne 3-4 in a recent friendly competition!
·         Congratulations to our Fr. Alan and our baseball team on their recent victories! The next games are:  April 21, Tuesday, at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s; and Saturday, April 25 (double header), the first game beginning at 11:30 AM.  Lunch will be provided in between the games.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

“They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost.” There is an element of surprise in all of the Resurrection appearances: the disciples of the Lord are surprised—surprised He is risen. Then Jesus proceeds to reassure them that it is He Himself who is standing before them, but His reassurance is not the same in each appearance. It is interesting that when He appears to St Mary Magdalene, it is only the sound of His voice saying her name that convinces her; for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it is first a long Scriptural discussion followed by the breaking of the bread, then their eyes are opened; for the several appearances in the upper room, the Apostles as a whole are shown His wounds, are invited to probe those wounds, and then He eats in their presence.
Jesus needs to reassure everyone in some way about His physical reality. That is not so much our problem. Our challenge is that of those who have not seen and yet have believed. We are asked to recognize the invisible Lord in His sacraments, His Scriptures, and in the many events of our lives, to see them as Providence. What reassurances do we find ourselves looking for in order to believe and to continue believing? To walk by faith and not by sight is the vocation of every Christian, and for vowed religious, it is an especially intense way of life.

We have to admit, first of all, that we have no power to make ourselves feel God’s presence. Our awareness of God’s presence is a struggle and very much dependent upon His will, upon His desire to reveal Himself to us in His own way and in His own time. We see that Jesus Himself was very selective about those to whom He appeared, when, and how often. The mystery of His providence is fascinating in each of the resurrection appearances: Why her first? Why him, why them, and not others?

The fact is, we are accompanied by a mysterious presence in our lives at each moment that changes us. We can’t ever say that our experience of God as our most intimate Friend and Companion is anything less than mysterious. We cannot control Him or hold Him so as to manipulate Him—as Simon Magus sought to “buy” the Holy Spirit when he saw how the Apostles operated under the Spirit’s influence: “he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power….’” It’s not something we can buy or bargain for.

It is as simple as what St John says, “By this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. … whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” I think we will find that the kinds of reassurances that we are looking for all boil down to the frequent reminder that we are loved by God, that we are abiding in Him. Again, how can we tell if this is happening?

Our Newly Baptized STM Student 
Looking at your desires and aspirations—they are not those of a fallen man who wants to stay fallen, but of those who has been sacramentally regenerated. New life has been given us and we can be assured that we are living it if we keep Christ’s commandment of love—striving to walk in the same way in which he walked. Where did your desires and aspirations come from?

St Bernard of Clairvaux says that we would not seek Him at all unless He had first found us. That is a very unique kind of assurance: we have spiritual and moral aspirations that grow more intense the more we possess Christ. And the more we possess Him, the more we desire Him. Saint Bernard says, “there will be no end to desire, and therefore no end to [our] search.”
Mary Magdalene standing outside of the tomb; the Emmaus disciples; the Apostles; all, without exception, were in profound sorrow. Why? Because they had already been touched, had been found, by the Lord, and they felt lost without Him; they felt His absence because they were so familiar with His presence. They epitomize what St Bernard says of himself: “Not only has He sought me as I am, but He has shown me tenderness, and caused me to seek Him with confidence.”

Prayer Requests
● Mr. Andy Portka, who is fighting cancer.
● Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is fighting cancer.

● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.


April 6, 2015

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! Alleluia!

He Has Risen As He Said! Alleluia!

·         Students return after Easter Vacation on Sunday, April 12, between 7:00-7:45 PM.
·         Students of St. Michael’s will receive the sacrament of Confirmation on Monday, April 20, at 6:30 PM, in the abbey church.  They will be confirmed by Bishop Kevin Vann.  All are welcome to attend.  A modest reception follows.

·         The next baseball games are:  Tuesday, April 14, at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s; and Thursday, April 16, at 3:15 PM, at Cypress Park [255 Visions, Irvine, CA 92618].

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

We celebrate today the greatest event in all of human history:  the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.  The rising of Christ from the dead after three days in the tomb is a true miracle.  It is the greatest miracle ever performed, the miracle of all miracles.  And it is even more than a miracle, it is a supernatural mystery, one of the most wonderful mysteries of our Catholic Faith.  This dual aspect of Christ’s Resurrection—miracle and mystery—is something worth considering; for our whole Faith depends on it.  If Christ has not been raised, says St. Paul, your faith is in vain and your are still in your sins.
Unlike the founding events of other religions—Mohammed’s alleged vision of an angel, Joe Smith’s supposed reception of mysterious golden tablets—our Lord’s Resurrection from the dead was witnessed by many.  It is a real, concrete historical event, one which goes totally beyond the normal order of nature, and can in no way be explained except by the power of God.  And it is supported by eye-witness accounts, written testimony, archaeological findings like the Shroud of Turin and the empty tomb, as well as additional miracles performed by Peter and the Apostles. 

Sacred Scripture reports 12 different appearances of our Lord; and on one of these occasions He appeared to more than 500 people at the same time.  He spent 40 days with His disciples, teaching them about the Kingdom of God.  And is it any wonder that God would supply so much proof for this extraordinary event? Since this was to be the crowning moment in our Lord’s mission, the one miracle which would best persuade the world to believe in Him, that upon which our whole Faith would rest, it is most fitting that there should be so much testimony available:  the testimony of the angels found at His tomb, the testimony of the holy women who were the first to see Him, the testimony of the Apostles and many others, the testimony of the Scriptures which foretold this event.  The whole world bears witness that He has risen as He said.  But there is more to the Resurrection than just a miracle, as great as it is.

Student Holy Week Procession
St. Thomas Aquinas says of St. Thomas the Apostle that, when our Lord appeared to him and told him to place his hand in our Lord’s wounds, “Thomas saw one thing, but confessed another.”  My Lord and My God, he said.  “Thomas saw one thing, but confessed another; he saw the mortal wounds but confessed God”; he saw the miracle but confessed the mystery.  A supernatural mystery is that which one can know only by divine revelation, and even after that it still remains obscure; it cannot be completely comprehended by us, because by its very nature it infinitely surpasses our intellects.  We do not celebrate a mere resuscitation of a body, but the Resurrection of the very Son of God—something which is intimately connected with the whole mystery of Redemption, with the divine plan for saving mankind.  It is something which ultimately requires supernatural faith. We begin with the miracle perceived by our senses, but we must cross over, as it were, to the mystery perceived only with the eyes of faith.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is, as one saintly theologian once said, “the visible sign of the invisible victory of the Cross.”  Let us pray at this Holy Mass for all who do not believe, that the grace of this season may bring them to acknowledge the miracle and so believe in the mystery of Christ’s Resurrection.

Prayer Requests
● Mr. Andy Portka, who is fighting cancer.● Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is fighting cancer.

● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.