• Reminder that tuition down payments for next school year are due by March 20.
• The next Dads’ Prayer Group Meeting is Monday, February 18, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help class room. All dads are invited!
• Students will be treated to a special Asian dinner this Tuesday. Thank you to all the parents who are contributing!
• Room leaders have an outing Thursday, February 21.
• Next weekend (Feb 22-23) is the Junior Retreat. Thank you to the dads who will chaperoning!
• Our first baseball game is February 28, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s. Fathers Alan and Vianney are our coaches.
There was a book written some time during the sixties or seventies, a book which pretty much summed up the mindset of many people during that time and ever since then. It was called “I’m O.K. You’re O.K..” It’s a horrible book, which basically sets forth the psychology of Carl Rogers, which states, among other things, that every person is perfectly good and has no real vices or sins, and that the most important thing in life is that you feel good about yourself. In fact, the only difficulties in our life, Carl Rogers would say, are the restrictions and rules placed upon us by authorities. We need to just realize that we’re all o.k. just as we are and not care about rules, commandments and the like. We are, this book tells us, the center of the world.
Our Heavenly Father and Holy Mother Church, needless to say, have a very different view of man; and during this period before Lent once called Septuagesima, the 3 preceding Sundays before Lent, the we ought to remind ourselves that we’re not o.k., neither you nor me; we are, on the contrary, great sinners, deserving of hell because of our many offences against God. We are born with original sin, which must be washed away by Baptism. And even after the sin is removed we carry about us for the whole of our earthly lives some effects of that first sin—the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, as they have been called. We are “the salt of the earth,” but if salt loses its taste it will be “thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Like soldiers preparing for battle, we need to approach Lent with the proper knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses and review our plan of attack, so to speak.
Scripture teaches us that there is one type of sin, called the “sin against the Holy Spirit,” which cannot be forgiven. St. Thomas Aquinas explains that this is the sin whereby, because of presumption or despair, we either think that we do not need God’s grace and mercy or that our sins are so great that even God cannot forgive them. And so, this sin cannot be forgiven simply because we will not allow God to forgive us; we set up our own obstacle to His mercy by that very sin. The “I’m o.k. you’re o.k.” mentality, which is still very prevalent in today’s world—we see it in education, politics and even in our own Church—easily leads to a grave sin against the Holy Spirit, one of horrible pride and presumption. If we cannot admit that we’re not o.k., that we in fact are in great need of God’s forgiveness, then we will never receive His mercy. Our presumption chokes off his grace, as it were, never even giving it a chance.
During this period immediately before Lent the Church used to begin already to wear the solemn color of purple to remind us that Lent is quickly approaching, a season in which we are told to perform penance for our sins and beg for God’s mercy upon us. In these days before Lent we ought to remember, not that “I’m o.k. you’re o.k.,” but that, as we will be told this Ash Wednesday, “we are dust and to dust we shall return.” Let us pray at this Holy Mass for the virtue of humility and for true sorrow for our sins, so that mindful of our own nothingness, we will say with St. Peter, “I am a sinful man,” and God in turn will respond, “Do not be afraid,” and we all will have a very fruitful Lenten Season and a glorious Easter.
• 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.
• For Mrs. Janet Russell, who is suffering severe health problems.
• For the Sturkie Family’s very special intention.
• For the health of Josephine White.
• For the Church.