•On Monday, April 23, Mr. Warnisher’s US History class will visit the Reagan Library; Fr. Victor will help chaperone.
•The school’s Drama Club will be going to see a production of Julius Caesar on Wednesday, April 25. Mrs. Angela Cybulski has contacted the parents of the students involved.
•The next Moms’ Prayer Group meeting will take place on Sunday, April 29. All moms (and dads) are welcome.
•On Tuesday, May 3, Fr. Victor and another priest will be taking a group of students to the Pacific Symphony. Parents of the students attending will be notified beforehand.
•The school’s Spring Concert is on Sunday, May 6, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help room. All are welcome to attend!
•We are planning on having an All School BBQ (as our last “all-school meeting”) on Wednesday, May 9. Mrs. Aeschliman will be contacting all the families.
•On Saturday, May 19, at 8:00 AM, the school will have another Entrance Exam for prospective students. Contact Mrs. Toni Aeschliman for more details.
•Graduation Day is Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day), at 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard. All are welcome to attend; all students are required to attend.
•Our next baseball games are: Tuesday, April 24, at 2:00 PM, at Samueli Academy [1901 N Fairview St, Santa Ana, CA 92706]; and Friday, April 27, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s.
•We are happy to have as our Head Football Coach next year Mr. Scott Schardt, an alumnus of St. Michael’s!
Sermon by a Norbertine Priest
O Priest! Thou art not thyself, because thou art God; thou art not of thyself, because thou art the servant and minister of Christ; thou art not thine own, because thou art the spouse of the Church; thou art not for thyself, because thou art the mediator between God and man; thou art not from thyself, because thou art nothing. What then art thou, O Priest? Nothing and everything. O Priest! Take care lest what was said to Christ on the Cross be said to thee: He saved others, himself he cannot save.
The above quote is an exhortation of St. Norbert to his priests.
Written in the Letter to the Hebrews is the following: Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins; but this one offered one sacrifice for sins... This Letter to the Hebrews is addressed especially to the Hebrew priests and Levites, the “clergy” of the Old Law who had recently converted to the New Law—the Christian Faith. And the whole letter was written to encourage the converts to persevere in their new found Faith by showing them that the New Law, which consists of a New High Priest and a New Sacrifice is infinitely better than the Old Law given them by Moses. In previous times, the Letter explains, sacrifices had to be offered every day in the temple, in Jerusalem, and the high priest would enter into the sanctuary of the temple—the “Holy of Holies” as it was called—once a year, to make atonement for the people’s sins. Now, on the other hand, there is only one “High Priest,” Jesus Christ; and because His Sacrifice is the perfect Sacrifice, the greatest one that can ever be made, it is made once for all, never to be repeated again.
The sacrifices which the Jewish priests made daily in the temple were sacrifices of animals, carried out according to a specific rite which was given by God to the Israelites through Moses. There were sacrifices for peace, sacrifices for sin, sacrifices for thanksgiving…etc. But none of these sacrifices really had any power in themselves, they simply were a sign of the faith and love of the one who offered them. They all foreshadowed that one supreme Sacrifice which would make all the others obsolete—the Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross, a Sacrifice which is continued in the Holy Mass. No sins were taken away by the sacrificing of mere lambs and cows; but all sins have been taken away by the Precious Blood of Christ poured out on the Cross. In fact, even sins committed before the time of Christ, if they were forgiven, received their forgiveness in view of the merits of Christ’s Sacrifice which was still to come.
Our Lord’s Sacrifice of Himself was infinitely greater than all the Old Testament sacrifices, because now God Himself is the Priest—the one who performs the sacrifice, and God Himself is even the victim—the one who is offered up. Think how incredible that really is! Instead of having man offer up a few animals—a couple calves or goats, God becomes man just so He can die and offer Himself up for sins which He did not commit, but which were committed against Him! And at that moment of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary the floodgates of God’s mercy and grace were opened up for all men—sin and death were destroyed.
But God’s love did not stop even there; He desired that we continuously commemorate that extraordinary event, not by a simple symbolic commemoration, but by actually uniting ourselves to Him in that very same Sacrifice, carried out now in a different way, a different manner. This is exactly what the Mass is. The Mass is the very same Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. This has always been the belief of the Church ever since the time of the very first Christians, those who had been present for the First Mass, i.e. the Last Supper. In the words of the Council of Trent: The Victim [on the Cross and in the Mass] is one and the same; He now offers through the ministry of the priests, who then offered Himself on the Cross; only the manner of offering is different. In this divine Sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ Who offered Himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the Cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.
And so there is not a new or different sacrifice—for there is no need; “all is finished,” as Our Lord said as He hung on the Cross. Jesus is not crucified again. He is not now paying for our sins and meriting our salvation, as He did some 2,000 years ago on Calvary; but rather, the reward already won by His Passion is now being offered to us and the graces applied to us, now Christ reigns gloriously in heaven, never to die again; and yet, at the same time, by the Holy Mass, He continually offers Himself up to the Father as a living Sacrifice, now allowing us to unite ourselves to Him, such that His Sacrifice becomes ours as well.
Every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered up, the work of our redemption is carried out. At every Mass--no matter if the Church is beautiful or not, no matter if we like the music or not, no matter if the priest is holy or not, no matter how many, if any, people attend it—at every Mass, Our Lord is present on the altar, offering Himself up to the Father; at every Mass the merits of His Passion and Death are poured out upon the world and upon the suffering souls in purgatory; at every Mass Jesus’ one and only Sacrifice is continued. You might say that by the Holy Mass the Sacrifice on Calvary is, in a sense, extended across space and time, reaching down to the last days, until this world passes away.
What an awesome treasure God has given to His Church! And how blessed we are to be called to the canonical life, one which has as its heart the Sacred Liturgy. As the Directorium Spirituale of our Norbert Order states: …the life of the canonries is ordered around the daily High Mass as its lofty center, without which there can be no genuine abbey life…in this our Order differs from many communities founded after us, which find their particular piety in extra-liturgical devotions; and with what reverence we ought to approach the Mass. Cleanliness around the altar and the chapter of faults, two of our Holy Father Norbert’s admonitions, two ways to prepare—exteriorly and interiorly—for the Holy Mass, the One Supreme Sacrifice of Our Blessed Lord.
Let us ask our Lord for in increase in faith in and love for the Mass, so that when He comes to us in Holy Communion He will not find our hearts cold and indifferent, but rather ready to welcome Him Who died for us.
•For Mr. Will Moebest, father of one of our seniors, Bruno Moebest, who recently suffered a heart attack.
•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.