• The school’s annual Advent Lessons and Carols will be on December 15, at 7:00 PM. Mark your calendar now. A reception will follow.
• Students are dismissed for Christmas break on December 20, at 12:30 PM. No one may leave early, since that week is also their first semester exams.
• The next Dads’ Prayer Group Meeting will be on Sunday, December 8, at 7:00 PM. All dads are welcome to come and pray!
• Our first Robotics Competition will be this Saturday, December 7.
• Our next soccer game is: Tuesday, December 10, at 2:00 PM, at Lake Forest Sports Park; and Thursday, December 12, at 2:30 PM, at Vista Hermosa Sports Park [987 Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92673]
• Congratulations to Mr. Schoenfeld and our basketball team on their recent victories! Our next basketball game will be on Tuesday, December 10 at 2:00 PM, at Ladera Sports Center, [2 Terrace Rd, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694]; and Friday, December 13, at 3:00 PM, at Ladera Sports Center.
On this day when we pay honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary there are so many things we can praise her for and so many ways she can be an example for us. Numquam satis de Maria, said St. Bernard—“One can never say enough about Mary.” But perhaps during this Advent season, when we are preparing for the coming of the Word Made Flesh, we can say a few words about Mary’s very few words, that is about Mary’s silence.
There are only 3 episodes in the entire New Testament where the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks: the Wedding at Cana, the Annunciation, and her Visitation with Elizabeth. On all three occasions, Mary speaks very little and what she does say is either addressed to God Himself (“Son, why have You done this? Don’t you know that Your father and I were looking for You?”); or to God on behalf of man (“They have no more wine.”); or to man on behalf of God (“Do whatever He tells you.”), or in praise of God (“My soul magnifies the Lord”), or to God’s angel (“Let it be done to me as you have said.”). Like all the notes in a Bach fugue or the brush strokes in a painting of Caravaggio, every word of Mary had its place, not one was useless or in vain.
And to continue the analogy, like the master composer or painter, it was not because Mary had nothing to say that she said so little; rather, it was because she knew exactly what to say and when to say it, and she knew the power of the spoke word (after all, she bore the Word Incarnate in her womb), and she knew that most people abuse the word by saying far too much. “Mary kept all these things, preserving them in her heart.” Being immaculately conceived, Mary was free from all sin and effects of sin, including the effects of original sin. This means that her intellect was not darkened by error. She could flatten any theologian in a second; she could out preach St. Paul if she wanted to. But she kept silent. Being immaculately conceived, she is the holiest there is after our Lord Himself. As Mother of God she could have boasted of her spiritual experiences which far surpassed even St. John’s. But she kept silent. Being immaculately conceived, she is the most perfect even on the mere material level. She is the most beautiful woman ever to be created, even more beautiful than the angels. She could have boasted of her beauty if she so wanted. But she kept silent. As St. Bede said: Mary is the wisest…She pondered upon both Christ’s divine words and works, so that nothing that was said or done by Him was lost upon her.
In this age in particular, when we can shoot an email across the world in seconds, when we can chime in on any internet blog and tell everyone who cares to listen what we think about any subject under the sun—in this age of communication, we all speak far too much. The result being that we all listen to God far too little. For Mary didn’t keep silence simply for silence’s sake—though even that has its value. For as Scripture says, In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, and The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. But Mary also kept silence in order to be able to speak continuously with God. Her life, even amidst all the cares of the world, was one long silent retreat.
Let us imitate Mary’s silence in these days before Christmas. Let us weigh carefully every word we say before we speak—we might come to realize that much of what we say is useless and vain and sinful. Like Mary, let our speech be either to God or His saints and angels, or to man about God, or to God about man. Even amidst the busyness of your life, especially amidst the busyness of your life, ponder God’s words and deeds in your heart. Make a place in your life for the coming of the Word Incarnate by letting your own words be few. Remember the words of Scripture: While gentle silence enveloped all things…Thy all-powerful word leaped down from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior [was He], carrying the sharp sword of Thy command…and touched heaven while standing upon the earth. [Wisdom 18:14]. It was in the midst of silence that the Word came down from heaven.
May Mary the Immaculate Conception obtain for us the grace to imitate her silence, so that the Word Incarnate, Who was formed in her womb, might dwell in our hearts and souls.
• 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.