● Congratulations to our students on the completion of the 2012-2013 academic year! Enjoy your summer vacation!
● The New Family BBQ is on Saturday, June 15, at 12:00 Noon.
● Reminder to all moms about our “Mothers’ Retreats.” There will be two different weekend retreats at the Norbertine convent in Tehachapi: August 2-4 and August 9-11. Contact Rimini Esser for more details: email@example.com
● The first day of classes for next school year is August 26. Students return on Sunday, August 25. We begin, students and parents, at 7:00 PM in the abbey church with Eucharistic Benediction, after which there will be a parent meeting in the school refectory (i.e. dining hall). Football players return the week before, August 18, at 4:00 PM.
Sermon by Fr. Chrysostom Baer, O. Praem.
Fr. Chrysostom teaches in the abbey seminary.
June 3rd, feast of St. Charles Lwanga and companions
In the play Antigone by the fifth century BC playwright Sophocles, the
has recently been rocked by civil war.
The two greatest casualties were the sons of the ill-fated Oedipus. Creon, the new king, orders that one son be
buried honorably because he was Creon’s ally, but that the other, rebellious
son be left unburied on the battlefield as an act of public shame. Antigone, sister to both these dead brothers,
in defiance to the king’s edict but in obedience to the law of the gods,
repeatedly insists upon burying the brother rotting on the battleground so that
his soul may pass to Hades. kingdom of Thebes
|Mr. Christopher Check|
In the first reading today, Tobit is mocked by his Jewish neighbors in Assyrian Nineveh because he, too, has repeatedly defied royal edicts that forbade burying the dead, which was horrifying to Jewish sensibilities. In the story before our passage today, Sennacherib, thwarted king of Assyria, 185,000 of whose troops had been slain by the angel of God, had upon his return to Nineveh killed many Israelites, and Tobit had buried them so that when the king later went looking for their bodies, they were not to be found.
But both stories, one drama and the other history, examine the obedience men owe to their lawful superiors and what the limits of human authority are. In both cases, the title characters prefer to act piously in accordance with the law of God in the face of regal wrath rather than submit meekly like everyone else yet be guilty before God.
In fact, this was the same dilemma faced by the martyrs we celebrate today.
Charles Lwanga and his companions were commanded by the evil Ugandan King
Mwanga to do things contrary to the Natural Law. But the Natural Law is reason’s participation
in the Eternal Law of God, so even if they hadn’t been Christians, good manly judgment
would have told them the king had exceeded his jurisdiction and so could not be
In a rage at her disobedient piety, King Creon shut his niece Antigone in a cave, where she eventually hanged herself. Her fiancé, Hæmon, found her body and stabbed himself to death. His mother and Creon’s wife, Eurydice, when she heard of this devastation, committed suicide, cursing her husband with her last breath. Creon, for his part, had already been brought to repentance for what he had done, but of course too late. It was, after all, a Greek tragedy.
Tobit, on the other hand, only suffered temporary blindness for his piety. Through the providence of God he lived not only to see again through a miraculous cure, but also to see his son married whereupon he sang a magnificent canticle in praise of God for His goodness and mercy, foretelling the eternal dwelling of God in the heavenly
The Ugandan Christians, however, were subjected to awful torments. Most of them were burned to death; others were speared; one was cut up and left on the road to die. In the compound where they were to be killed, the adopted son of the chief executioner was part of the Christian group. When his father ordered him to hide and so escape death, he refused. And when the other executioners ordered him to obey his father, the youth replied, “My Father Whom I must obey is in heaven.” These martyrs did not merely foretell the heavenly
Jerusalem; they are the heavenly Jerusalem, and God dwells in them.
From the first century to the twenty-first, there have always been men willing to pit their authority against that of God. But those who wish to live—and maybe even die—with a clean conscience before God will not end their days in Greek despair but immortal joy. Through the intercession of the indomitable Ugandan martyrs, may we also so prefer obedience to the Eternal Law over the haranguing of those hell-bent on the unnatural that we may merit to take our place with the white robed army in the heavenly
● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.