• Tuesday, August 28, is the Feast of St. Augustine, a very important patron for the Norbertines; Mass that day is at 11:00 AM. All are welcome to attend.
• Labor Day Weekend (August 31-September 2) is a 3-day weekend. Students return on Monday (September 3) evening around 7:15 PM. No weekenders are allowed to spend the weekend at the school.
• The next Moms’ Prayer Group Meeting is on Monday, September 3, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom. Note that this first meeting dads also are welcome to attend. Some have expressed interest in having a Dads’ Prayer Group as well. Perhaps some dad out there would like to step up and organize it…
• If you have had any changes in your son’s insurance plan or contact information, please inform Mrs. Toni Aeschliman this week.
• It was noticed that a few students began the school year with hair which is a bit too long. Please make sure your son’s hair is relatively short and neat. Thank you. School photos will be taken on Wednesday, September 5.
• Congratulations to Coach Schardt and our football team on their first victory, 48-28!
• There is no football game next week (The August 31st game has been cancelled.).
• The first cross country meet will be Thursday, September 6, at 3:00 PM, at Irvine Regional Park [1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869]
• Reminder to turn in your sports’ fee ASAP if your son is on the football or cross country team.
• Frater Peregrine is the head of the Archery Club this year. More information to come.
In the Second Reading from today’s Holy Mass we find St. Paul addressing the people of Ephesus regarding marriage and the Mystical Body of Christ. He points out the fact that the love and relationship between a husband and a wife reflect (should reflect) the love and relationship between Christ and His Church. And St. Paul wisely adds elsewhere the importance of every one of the Church’s members assuming his proper place in the Mystical Body in order for it to work effectively, most prudently stressing the primary importance of love, or charity. He would later remind the people of Corinth that not all should seek after the special gifts—like prophecy, healing, and the like—but after charity. It is charity which is the most important, it is a life of love and holiness to which we all are called to. As St. John of the Cross says, “In the end we will be judged according to love.” A life of holiness and true Christian charity is not something expected of just priests and sisters, it is the vocation of all of Christ’s members. This is what the Church has always taught since her foundation.
Holy Mother Church teaches us that, in the Church not everyone marches along the same path, yet all are called to sanctity…all the faithful are invited and obliged to holiness and the perfection of their own state of life. This is the first duty of all members of the Mystical Body, whether laymen, religious or clergy: one’s personal sanctification. And yet, the laity do differ from the clergy and the religious; they do have their own very specific privilege and duty, one which does not run contrary to the work of the priest or religious, but rather is a complement to it.
There is something called the “common priesthood of the faithful,” meaning that all members of Christ’s Church share, in a general way, in the priesthood of Jesus Christ by virtue of their Baptism and the sacramental character given to them with that sacrament. Like Christ, the faithful are to offer themselves up to God as a spiritual sacrifice. This is not to be confused with the ministerial priesthood, which is received only with the sacrament of Holy Orders, and which differs essentially from the common priesthood of the faithful. And like Christ, the great High Priest, the laity are to work for the salvation of others.
How are they to do this? By bringing the truth and love of Christ to every little corner of the world in which they live; by sanctifying the home, the workplace—all those areas which are closed-off to the priest and the religious brothers and sisters. This is the special task of you, the laity! This is something which you, and only you, can do. The salvation of countless souls depends upon you. Again, the Church teaches, the faithful are true witnesses of Christ, obliged to spread the faith by word and deed…it belongs to the laity, by reason of their special vocation, to seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will…The apostolate of the laity is a sharing in the salvific mission of the Church. It is their special vocation to make the Church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only through them that she can become the salt of the earth. Your vocation is to go out to the world and bring to it Christ’s truth and love.
Well, what does all this mean in the concrete? It means: practicing your faith with fervor, not being a simple “Sunday Catholic”; live-out all that Christ teaches you through His Church—to pick-and-choose only the teachings which appeal to you is, in fact, a grave sin against faith, a great mistrust in God. St. Paul tells us, Love bears all things, endures all things. Don’t be afraid to stand up for Christ’s teachings at work or at home. The Church is in desperate need of good Catholic families. Patiently endure the many crosses Our Lord sends you: whether it be something simple like changing a diaper or wiping a runny nose; or something bigger, like being taunted at work because you wisely choose not to contracept and not to abort your children. Take such opportunities to defend Christ’s truth and to spread His love. Many Christians who have gone before us gave up their very lives for Our Lord and His Church. Are we such cowards that we cannot do even half as much?
A pope once said the following: The task of witness is not easy. There are many today who claim that God should be left on the sidelines, and that religion and faith…should be either excluded from the public forum altogether or included only in the pursuit of limited pragmatic goals…If God is irrelevant to public life, then society will be shaped in a godless image. It is through you, the laity, that the truth and love of Christ, the saving teachings of His Church, must seep into every fiber of society.
Surely, there is plenty of work for all of us to do, each according to, and within the limits of, his own vocation. May the grace of Holy Mass help you to live out and proclaim your faith in Christ Jesus, and to fulfill your all-important vocation as lay-members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
• Mr. Glenn Emanuel, father of two STM alumni, who is recovering from heart surgery.
• 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.