22.5.15

May 22, 2015

Announcements

 ·         Graduation:  Monday (Memorial Day), May 25, 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard.  All students are required to be present by 6:30 PM.  Choir members must arrive by 6:15 PM.  A reception follows in the refectory and courtyard.  All are welcome.



●We encourage all parents who have accounts with Amazon to name St. Michael’s Preparatory School as their Smile Charity. With every purchase you make, Amazon will contribute a small portion of your purchase to our school. It’s easy to enroll.
1.      Log onto: http://smile.amazon.com/ .
2.      Hold your cursor on “My Account” then click on “Change Your Charity”
3.      Enter “St. Michael’s Preparatory School” in the box and then click on “Search”
4.      When you see our school name appear click on “Select” and you’re done.


Athletics
·         Congratulations to Fr. Alan and our baseball team on their recent victory in the first round of CIF Division Playoffs, 17-4! The next game is:  Tuesday, May 26, at Navy Field [26800 S. Western Ave. Harbor City, 90710].


Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

Spring Concert
When the Paraclete comes Whom the Father will send to you, the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear testimony about Me.

In the last 40 years or so, because of bad theology among the clergy, weak catechism among the
laity and the ever-insidious snares of the devil, many theological terms, traditional and orthodox at root, have taken on modernistic or unorthodox meanings, or at the very least when we hear such terms we become suspicious of them, because of their present association with something contrary to the Faith:  “love”, “forgiveness”, “ecumenical”, “participation”; and even the name of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, along with His supernatural gifts, tend to conjure up in our minds images of evangelical preachers on cable TV, of groups of charismatic Catholics rolling on the floor, claiming to have every charismatic gift in the book and trying to give us reasons why we should come to their “special Masses.”  

But as in the case of all the other terms, this is not what the Holy Spirit is all about, but rather some far more profound.  And on this Sunday between the two great feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost it’s not a bad idea to review the importance of the Holy Spirit and His gifts:  wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, piety, fortitude, fear of the Lord.  Maybe we once committed them to memory; but how these Gifts are neglected in our daily lives! These remarkable Gifts, which are necessary for our salvation, these Gifts which allow us “to walk in the Spirit” and to perform not only good, but “perfect works”, namely the beatitudes.


Virtues, which are good habits, dispose us—our mind, our will, our passions—to act according to reason.  A virtuous man lives with a clear head, an obedient will, ordered passions—his reason leading him to perform good acts.  The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are a little like virtues, but even better.  As virtues dispose us that we might moves ourselves according to our own reason and perform good virtuous works; the Gifts dispose us to be lead by none other than the Holy Spirit Himself and to perform perfect works—to be poor in spirit, to be merciful, to hunger and thirst for holiness, to be meek, to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, and so on.

Spring Concert
Imagine being in a boat.  You can use oars and row yourself—a good and respectable way to move the boat:  the virtues are like the oars.  But you can also just lift up the sails and let the wind move you:  the sails are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  St. Thomas Aquinas says that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are a little like natural instinct in animals.  Just as animals automatically follow their instinct, implanted in them by God, so when we act according to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are moved automatically by God—although unlike the animals, we, of course, have free will; but we allow our wills to be moved by God.  This is something truly wonderful:  the Gifts of the Holy Spirit dispose us to be moved by God Himself, to be led by the Spirit.

When we act according to them, our actions become God’s actions.  We’re not talking about the charismatic gifts:  speaking in tongues, bearing the stigmata, and the like.  We’re talking about living our everyday life, making our everyday decisions as moved by the Holy Spirit.  What an awesome life God has called us to!

All of us have received the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and an increase of them at Confirmation, but how often do we make use of them? The first thing we can do to aid ourselves in acting according to the Gifts is simply observe the laws and commandments of God and His Church.  God is not asking for the extraordinary; He has already revealed to us how we ought to live.  The second thing is to renew frequently your resolution to always do God’s will:  “Let Thy will be done” should always be on our lips.

The last thing we need to do is, in silent prayer, ask unceasingly for the light of the Hoy Spirit, and even consecrate yourself to the Holy Spirit.  All of this will open your heart and mind to His influence.  So often He wants to move us, but so often we do even give Him a chance.  So often the wind wants to blow the boat, but we never even lift up the sails.

We need:  the gift of the fear of the Lord, in order to help us fight against the temptations of the flesh and to inspire in us a spirit of penance and mortification.  How many Catholics nowadays think that penance is something we do only on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday! May the Spirit move us to hate sin and to avoid any other obstacle which stands between us and God. 

Spring Concert
The gift of fortitude, to help us to live out our faith bravely without worrying what others will think about us.  Our forefathers in the Faith were tortured and killed for Christ.  Are we afraid to even defend it when someone attacks it? Are we embarrassed to make the Sign of the Cross in public? May the Spirit might move us to persevere and have a hunger for holiness. 

The gift of piety to help us know and practice our religious duties with reverence and devotion. 
Pray the Rosary everyday.  Never enter a church as if it were just another building:  dress properly, spend time before Mass in prayer and not in daydreaming.  May the Spirit move us to love God as our Father and our fellow man as our brother.

The gift of counsel to direct us through difficult decisions in life, helping us resolve difficulties
according to God’s holy will—note that this is not always what makes us feel comfortable.  May the Spirit move us to always do what is best in every situation, filling our days with works of mercy.

Marian Consecration 
The gift of knowledge to help us judge rightly concerning the things of this world, helping us see the transitoriness of this life. May the Spirit move us to see the greatness of the Creator and the littleness of creation.

The gift of understanding to help our minds penetrate into the truths and mysteries of our Faith, accepting all the truths the Church teaches us with humility and trust.  The “cafeteria Catholic” (the pick-and-choose Catholic) is really no Catholic at all.  He’s already started his own church in his mind, according to his own image.  May the Spirit move us to study and to contemplate more deeply the mysteries of our Faith.

Finally, the gift of wisdom, which allows us to judge and order all things, every aspect of our life, according to God, subjecting everything to His holy will.  May the Spirit move us to see all things in the light of eternity.

The charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit have their place—speaking in tongues, miracles and the like—but more important are these 7 gifts.  It is these which we need to practice in order to bring about the salvation of souls and the building-up of the Catholic Church.

During these days let us implore the Holy Spirit, that He will revive in us these gifts, that we might respond more perfectly to His will.

Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful.  Enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.  Amen.


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.

15.5.15

May 16, 2015

Latin Class' Visit to the Getty Museum



Announcements

·         This Sunday (May 17) is the Spring Concert, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room. A reception will follow. All are welcome.  Choir members must arrive by 6:15 PM at the latest.

·         Please note that on Friday, May 22, students (except seniors) will be dismissed at 12:00 PM.  Seniors remain to do their matura presentations, which begin promptly at 12:15 PM; the seniors will be dismissed as they finish their respective presentations.
·         Seniors should take all their things with them when they leave school on Friday, May 22.  Their rooms must be clean and empty before they leave on that day.

·         Graduation:  Monday (Memorial Day), May 25, 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard.  All students are required to be present by 6:30 PM.  Choir members must arrive by 6:00 PM.  A reception follows in the refectory and courtyard.  All are welcome.

·         Spring Sports Award Ceremony:  Sunday, May 31, 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom



●We encourage all parents who have accounts with Amazon to name St. Michael’s Preparatory School as their Smile Charity. With every purchase you make, Amazon will contribute a small portion of your purchase to our school. It’s easy to enroll.
1.      Log onto: http://smile.amazon.com/ .
2.      Hold your cursor on “My Account” then click on “Change Your Charity”
3.      Enter “St. Michael’s Preparatory School” in the box and then click on “Search”
4.      When you see our school name appear click on “Select” and you’re done.


Athletics [*Updated*]
•The baseball team’s next game (first round of division playoffs) is:  Thursday, May 21, at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s.


Sermon by a Norbertine Priest


The Church celebrates today the Ascension of our Lord into heaven—that day when, after having risen from the dead and having spent 40 days on earth with His disciples, Jesus was taken up into heaven, body and soul, a day which was of great joy for Christ’s disciples, as we heard in the Gospel, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  This might seem rather strange.  Jesus is leaving them.  What in the world are they so happy about? You’d think they would be sad? Who of us actually rejoices when someone we love leaves us? If we look closely at the passages of Sacred Scripture which we read, we’ll see the Apostles progressing from fear and sadness to hope and joy, and once we understand why they were so happy, we too can find in our Lord’s Ascension a cause of hope and joy.

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear the Apostles asking Jesus if He was now going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Although, certainly, they believed in Him and knew that He was God, some of Christ’s followers were, perhaps, still a little unclear with regards to the victory which He had won on the Cross.  You see, for the Jewish people, the Messiah was the long-awaited liberator, the one who would restore the kingship to Israel which they had lost first to the Persians in 587 BC and then to the Greeks in 165 BC.  Now that Christ, the Messiah, was going to heaven, there were a few questions to be answered:  “What about the kingdom?” “What are Christ’s disciples to do?” “How would they survive without Him?” “Why can’t they go with Him?”


First of all, as Christ once told Pontius Pilate, His Kingdom is not of this world.  He did indeed fulfill the prophecies about restoring the kingdom, but in a more important way, in a far greater way, by restoring not a political kingdom to Israel, but rather the Kingdom of Heaven, His Church, the membership of which includes not only the Jewish people, but all peoples—a universal kingdom, a “Catholic” Church.  The kingdom was restored when its King died on the Cross; but, like Christ Our King, we too must suffer for a time in this world before we rise gloriously into heaven.  When this will happen, when the end will come for us as individuals, and when the whole world will finally come to an end—at which point the Church will exist only in a glorified state in heaven—when exactly this will happen we do not know; and Christ tells us that it is not for us to know, that the Father does not want us to know.  (Something to keep in mind the next time someone tells you that they know when the world will end.)

Our Lord also tells us not to worry, for He will always be with us, first of all in the Holy Eucharist, and He will also send us the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who will guide His Church, His Kingdom hear on earth, preserving it from error and destruction, despite the many shortcomings of its members.  This is what Jesus meant when He told the Apostles that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes…and that they would be clothed with power from on high.  You might say that, before our Lord ascended into heaven, He put all His affairs into order.  Having redeemed us by His Passion and Death, having restored the Kingdom, He made sure that the gates of hell would not prevail against it, that it would always be directed and safeguarded by the Holy Spirit, God Himself.  And so, all of this being taken care of, our Lord could now ascend into heaven—paving the way for us as it were, and ruling His Kingdom from above.

So is this a sad thing, that Jesus ascended into heaven? It’s sad only for those who do not believe that He established His Church, His Kingdom and guaranteed it the power of the Holy Spirit, which, by the way, we will commemorate next Sunday on the Feast of Pentecost.  And this is something we should meditate on and never forget:  our Lord’s Ascension was the triumphal finish to His work hear on earth, it is a foreshadowing of what will happen to all who faithfully follow Him, and it is a reminder not that He has abandoned us, but that He has won the battle against the devil, that He watches over us from heaven where He gloriously reigns, and that His Holy Spirit has been given to His Church, His Kingdom, to guide her back to Him.

May Christ our King, ascended into heaven, reign in our hearts!       


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.