February 18, 2017

Announcements

•Presidents’ Weekend is February 18-19.  Monday, February 20 is a day off from school.
•Sunday, February 26, at 7:00 PM, is the Winter Sports Awards Ceremony, in the Perpetual Help Room.  All students who played soccer or basketball must be present.  All others are most welcome to attend.  A reception follows.
•Returning students are required to make a $3,500 non-refundable tuition deposit in order to secure a position for the 2017-2018 school year. All deposits must be made by March 20th.
•Seniors must turn in 50% (3,000 words) of their Senior Matura Paper by 3:00 PM, this Thursday!

Athletics

•Those students who wish to play baseball must turn in their sports fees within the next week or so.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

Arise O Lord! Why do You sleep? Why do You turn your face from us and forget our tribulation?

These words of Sacred Scripture express a sentiment felt so often by even the most fervent of Christians whenever they find themselves in the midst of some hardship:  “Why do You sleep, O Lord? Don’t You see the difficulty I am in?” These words are almost comical when you think about it.  Do we really think God is asleep while we are suffering? Did the writer of these words think so? What’s even more amazing is that these words, taken from Sacred Scripture as they are, are divinely inspired.  Which means that God is their principal author.  They are taken from Psalm 43; and this Psalm, is, like all Psalms, a prayer written by God to God.  So God Himself, for some reason, wanted a prayer written that would express such feelings of neglect and abandonment.  Oh the wisdom and the power of God! Who can understand it?

In St. Thomas’ great work, the Summa Theologia, he poses a question regarding the time of the Incarnation, namely, “Why did God let so much time pass before becoming Incarnate, before initiating His immediate plan of salvation?” St. Thomas responds that it would not have been a good thing if God had come immediately after the Fall, on account of man’s pride, which led him into that first sin.  Instead, God decided to wait for thousands of years, so that man would learn by experience of his own nothingness, his own helplessness, and hence his need for divine assistance—like a sick person who, the longer he is sick, he realizes all the more his need for an expert physician. 

In one of the Epistles of St. Paul, after listing all the various trials he has gone through, mentions one particularly grievous one, one which he calls his “angel of Satan”, which he begged God to take away from him.  Our Lord, he goes on to tell us, told him that His grace is sufficient for him.  St. Paul then adds, Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  St. Paul saw so clearly that the fact that God left him to suffer some trials in no way meant that God had abandoned him.  Quite the contrary! God allowed St. Paul, God at times allows us to wallow in weakness in order to manifest His own power all the more.

Recall the Gospel account of our Lord out at sea with the Apostles.  He sleeps while a storm begins to grow and threaten the life of those with Him.  He allows the Apostles to fall into complete panic, and then awakes, calms the storm in an instant, and rebukes them for their lack of faith.  Though He seemed to be asleep, as God He was always awake, and always watching over the Apostles with His wonderful wisdom and perfect charity; but His omnipotence was able to shine out all the more in the midst of such chaos and darkness.

One of the most common objections among atheists for their disbelief is the suffering which they undergo in this world.  They fail to see that this suffering, instead of being a poison pushing one away from God, is meant to be a medicine, curing one of pride and presumption, moving one to abandon oneself completely to God’s loving Providence.  The God Who made us and desires our salvation certainly will not sleep as His children suffer!

We are now already preparing for the quickly approaching Lenten Season, a time when we are asked to take on some extra penance, to take up voluntarily an additional little suffering.  What is most important to remember during this time and during any time our cross seems to be too heavy to bear, is that God is certainly not asleep.  He is the One Who is permitting our suffering, and He is permitting it for a reason—to humble us, to remind us of the most important fact, that it is through Him and by Him that we are saved, that without Him we can do nothing.  For, until we accept this fact, until we acknowledge our complete need for Him, we will not be saved. 

Arise O Lord! Why do You sleep? Why do You turn your face from us and forget our tribulation? It must be noted that in this very same Psalm we hear the words, For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.  But Thou hast saved us from our foes, and hast put to confusion those who hate us.  In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to Thy name for ever.  This is what our Heavenly Father wants:  for us to cry out to Him in the midst of our afflictions, to realize that we are nothing and can do nothing without Him, to turn to Him and find all our strength in Him.  To Him, the One Who never sleeps, to Him be all glory and honor.  Amen.

Prayer Requests

•For Mrs. Aurora Layug, mother of senior Christopher Layug, who was diagnosed with cancer.
•For Teresa Johnston, sister of senior Timothy Johnston, who suffered a tragic accident during Friday’s storms.  She is currently in ICU.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.