29.5.15

May 29, 2015



Congratulations to the Class of 2015!


Announcements
·  Spring Sports Awards Ceremony is this Sunday, May 31, 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room
·  The last day of school is Friday, June 5.  Students are to be picked up at 12:00 Noon.


●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.


Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

Within the treasury of God’s wisdom and knowledge, within the treasury of His truths, there are some things which we human beings can understand (or at least grasp to some extent) by reason alone, that is by the natural use of our minds unaided by grace and supernatural faith.  For instance, by simply looking at the physical world around us we can discover that God exists:  the world implies the existence of an omnipotent Creator Who causes, orders and sustains creation.  By looking at man we can discover the existence of a spiritual, immaterial soul.  Some of man’s properties—his ability to know and to love—imply that he is made up of more than just a physical body.

Now within that same treasury of God’s truths there are other things which can in no way be known without God revealing them to us and without the gift of supernatural faith.  Such truths do not go against our reason—they are not unreasonable, but they do surpass our reason, which must receive them through God’s revelation and which must be aided by supernatural faith in order to grasp them, and even then they remain in a certain obscurity as long as we live in this life.  The Blessed Trinity, the fact that God is One God and Three Divine Persons, is not only one of these types of truths, it is the loftiest truth there is.  Nothing is greater, nothing more profound, nothing more beyond our poor human minds than the inner nature of God Himself.  We believe that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit because He has revealed it to us through Scripture and Tradition; and He can neither deceive nor be deceived.
 
So the question arises, “Can we know anything about the Blessed Trinity? And if so, what can we know?” Like all the mysteries of God, the Trinity can be simple enough for even a child to grasp something of It, and at the same time deep enough that even the brightest theologians cannot exhaust It.

We have a great little tract on the Trinity, which we used to hear at the end of every Mass; it’s from the beginning of the Gospel of John:  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…And the Word became Flesh.  The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is called “the Word” or “Logos” in Greek.  When we know something, we form an image of that thing in our mind.  This image is a representation of the thing known.  For instance, when we come to know a chair, we form an image of that chair in our mind.  In philosophy we call this image an interior “word.”  

And so, the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is an image of the Father Who contemplates Himself.  He is the concept, you might say, which the Father has when He knows Himself.  And yet this concept, this image, this “interior word” is so perfect, is such a true representation of the Father, that it is actually the same divine nature as the Father, in Whom to think and to be are the same thing:  the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now the Eternal Father loves the Son Whom He begets from all eternity, that perfect image of Himself; and the Son loves the Father from all eternity; and this perfect divine love between them, this eternal force, if you will, which comes forth from the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.  It too is divine; It is of the same nature as the Father and the Son.  And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever…and He will teach you all things.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  the one eternal, omnipotent God, Who eternally knows and loves Himself; and Who wants us to share in that everlasting knowledge and love of Himself, Who wants us to enter into eternal communion with the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity.  This is why He created us—union with the Blessed Trinity:  If anyone loves Me, He will keep My word, and My Father will love Him, and We will come to him and will dwell in him.

This union with the Blessed Trinity begins at our Baptism, as we hear in the Gospel:  Baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  And this union is strengthen at Confirmation, when God grants us an increase in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  This union is perfected, in a sense, in Holy Communion, which is a foretaste of our heavenly union with God. 

At every Holy Communion we become so closely united to Christ that we can love the Father with Christ’s love; we can love Christ with the love of the Father; and we can love the Holy Spirit with the love of the Father and the Son.  At every Holy Communion we become caught up, as it were, in the midst of the Holy Trinity—entering evermore deeply into that union with all Three Divine Persons, entering evermore deeply into the depths of God.

At the end of our Lord’s life He prayed:  Father, I pray for them also…that they may be one in Us.  This is the last wish of the Son, that we for whom He gave up His life might be united eternally to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Do not let the incomprehensibility of the mystery make you think that God is distant and unreachable.  No, He is dwelling within your soul; and He has created you for the very purpose of being united with Him, Father Son and Holy Spirit for all eternity.  May every Holy Communion bring us one step closer to this eternal union.  Amen.     


Prayer Requests

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

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.