•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.
•This Sunday, March 12, we will have our student led Parent-Teacher Conferences. Freshmen begin at 6:00 PM; Sophomores at 6:30 PM; Juniors at 7:00 PM; Seniors at 7:15 PM. All students and parents are require to attend.
•St. Norbert: Fr. Justin; Mr. Lieggi; Fr. Sebastian
•Perpetual Help: Mr. Langley; Frater Frederick; Mr. Meschuk
•St. Joseph: Fr. John Henry; Mr. Hanson
•John Bosco: Fr. Bartus
•St. Michael: Mr. Tomescu
•Pope Benedict: Frater Pio; Fr. Maximilian; Frater Clement
•Science Lab: Frater Julian
•Parking Lot: Fr. Victor; Fr. Alan
•The third quarter oral exams are this week, March 14-17. Students are encouraged to study; parents are encouraged to pray!
•On Friday, March 24, the school choir’s schola members will be singing at USC. They will miss classes that day. Contact Mr. Fritz for more details.
•The $350 graduation fee for all seniors is due April 1st.
•The next baseball games are: Tuesday, March 14, at 3:30 PM, at St. Michael’s; and Friday, March 17, at 3:30 PM, at St. Michael’s.
Today’s holy Gospel relates for us that extraordinary moment in our Lord’s life, called the Transfiguration, when He appeared before Peter, James and John in a glorified manner. How fortunate those three Apostles were: to get a glimpse, so to speak, of heaven while still living in this world. What did they do to deserve such a grace? It’s not what they did, but rather what they were about to do; that is, the reason why our Blessed Lord let them see what they saw is because He knew that in a short while they would witness His most sorrowful Passion and Death and that such suffering would tempt them to despair. By allowing them to get a glimpse beforehand of the fruits of His suffering—that is His glorious Resurrection—Christ would made sense out of that age-old problem of suffering.
The problem of suffering, the paradox of the Cross, is something that has perplexed man for as long as he has been subjected to it. Even among faithful Catholics it’s not uncommon to hear things like, “Why did so-and-so have to suffer so much? He was such a good person. How can God be so cruel so as to let my mother/father/grandmother suffer so much? What kind of God is He?”
Most of us can remember from our catechism that suffering and death are the result of original sin—the sin committed by our first parents, Adam and Eve, and past down to us through generation. But the question arises, “But if Christ has redeemed us, if He has conquered death with His own Passion and Death, if the punishment for sin is already paid, why then is there suffering in the world?” An answer does exist, and the answer can be found in the Cross.
It is true that Christ conquered sin and death by His own Passion and Death; but, as we need to come to Him for help in avoiding sin, so He wants us to help Him, so to speak, in saving souls by sharing in His suffering and death. It’s not that He cannot do it on His own; but rather, that He loves us so much that He wants us to share in His work—His greatest work—the work of redemption. Think about the way in which a father or mother asks their child to do some work around the house. Certainly, it would be much easier just to do it by oneself; but out of love for the child, the parent asks him to lend a hand, to share in the work. And so it is with us and Christ: it is out of love for us that He asks us to carry a part of the burden, to carry our own individual cross; such that our sufferings become, in a sense, His sufferings, and hence obtain a “redemptive value”—that is, they help make reparation for our own sins and the sins of the whole world, obtain graces for the conversion of lost souls, and consequently, we share in Christ’s awesome work of redeeming all mankind!
But suffering does not have only this redemptive value; it also has a certain “medicinal value” as well. That is, similar to the way in which a good doctor applies the proper medicine to his sick patient, so Our Blessed Lord gives us a good dose of suffering in order to remind us that this world passes away, that death is not far away for any of us, that the cares of the body ought to take a back seat to the cares of our soul, that we depend on Him for our health and salvation. The popular thoughts, “I hope I will die in my sleep; I hope I will not have to suffer at all; I hope that death will just surprise me one day,” are very foolish. It is actually a great act of God’s mercy that most people suffer at least a little prior to leaving this world. You can say it’s God’s way of saying, “Wake up, dummy! You’re going to die soon. It’s time to prepare yourself for death.” Many of us know people who, unfortunately, had fallen away from the Church; but, having been afflicted with a serious illness, they turned back to God and made their peace with Him here below before having to face Him in the next life. If death had come upon them without any previous suffering, where would they be now?
And so the problem of suffering is, in fact, no problem at all for those who have faith. When you consider that, when accepted with resignation to God’s will, it can be an opportunity for great merit and growth in holiness, it is no wonder that many of the saints even ask God for additional sufferings, in order that they may imitate Him and share in His Passion and Death more fully. One of wisest things I’ve ever heard regarding suffering came from a simple Sister I know. Seeing how hard she works day in and day out and how much she suffers everyday, I asked her, “Sister, how do you manage to persevere under such stress? How do you survive?” Her response was simple yet profound: “Sometimes,” she said, “I feel that I cannot go any further, that life is just too difficult; but then I think of My Jesus on the Cross and everything becomes so sweet.”
No one here needs to be convinced that every life has its share of sufferings; but if we imitate Our Lord, who suffered so grievously on the Cross, by accepting our trials with a holy resignation to God’s will, and by uniting our cross to His, by becoming friends of the Cross and not its enemies, by offering up our sufferings for the salvation of souls (including our own), then, having died with the Son of Man, we will rise with Him to life eternal, where—as it says in Scripture—every tear will be wiped away and He will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body.
May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, whatever good you do and suffering you endure, heal your sins, help you to grow in holiness, and reward you with eternal life. Amen.
•For Jenny Nguyen, an alumni parent, for the successful removal of a tumor.
•Teresa Johnston, sister of senior Timothy Johnston, who suffered a tragic accident in the recent storms. Please pray to Blessed James Kern (Norbertine saint) for her recovery.
•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.