•This Sunday, May 20, at 7:00 PM, will be our last Moms’ Prayer Group meeting of the year. It will take place in the Perpetual Help Room.
•Please note that all non-senior students will be dismissed for Memorial Day weekend at 12:00 Noon on Friday, May 25. Seniors will remain and present their Senior Matura Presentations to a panel of faculty members; they are allowed to leave as soon as their presentation is over (between 1:00-2:00 PM)
•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.
•Please check out the great work Mr. Hanson, our College Counselor, has done in creating a special site for college counseling: https://stmichaelsprep.wixsite.com/counselingcenter
•Thank you Mr. Hanson!
•Thank you to Fr. Miguel and our school’s Cooking Club for all their recent work!
Today, on this Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate that day when Christ sent His Holy Spirit, God Himself, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, to His Apostles in order to establish His Catholic Church and to rule and protect it until He comes again at the end of time. And thanks be to God for sending us His Holy Spirit, for without His assistance Christ’s Church never would have lasted, being made up of sinners as we all are; but with His Holy Spirit the Church can and will endure even the greatest of trials.
A holy cardinal used to say that “the Church is not without sinners, but it is without sin.” In other words, despite the sinfulness of its members, the Church, because of its participation in God’s divine nature, remains untarnished, untouched by our sins. Despite the errors which we personally can fall into from time to time, the Church remains infallible when teaching matters of faith and morals. You might say that it is precisely because we as fallen men can commit error that Christ sent us His Holy Spirit to keep the Church infallible, being as it is the one source of truth.
The Holy Spirit is to the Church a bit like what the soul is to the body. That is, the Holy Spirit is the life Source of the Church; He moves the Church ahead in time, while preserving it from harm. He never separates Himself from the Church, and where one finds the Holy Spirit one finds the Church. As St. Irenaeus, one of the great Doctors Fathers of the Church once wrote, Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace [Adversus Haereses, 3:24].
This fact, that the Church is ruled by the Holy Spirit, should be to us a great consolation, and yet it also serves as a severe warning. It is a great consolation because we can always be sure that the Church will forever remain the sure door to heaven, the source of all truth and goodness, despite the scandals and infidelities of its members, even its bishops and popes. What a great grace that is! And how wise of our Blessed Lord! He did not want His flock to have to worry about who they should follow after He ascended into heaven. He wanted to pave a clear way to salvation for all of us, and so He left us His Church and animated it and protected it with His own Spirit. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth [Jn 14:16]. And again, The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things [Jn 14:25]. It’s as if He said to us, “You do not have to guess what I want you to believe in, I will tell you all you need to know through My Holy Spirit.”
Now this gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church is a great grace for us, but like all graces it demands a response on our behalf. God guarantees us that His Church will always endure, but He doesn’t guarantee us that we will always be faithful members of that Church. What we need to do on this Pentecost is to pray that God will enliven in our hearts the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts given to us initially at Baptism and then again in a greater degree at Confirmation. These gifts help us to respond to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit can be compared to the sails on a boat. One way to move a boat is to row it. In such a case the oars are like our virtues. They help us, but we still have to do the work. The virtues help us act according to reason. The other way to move the boat is by lifting up the sails and letting the wind move it. In this case the sails are like the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the wind is the Holy Spirit Himself. When we act according to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit it is the Holy Spirit Himself Who takes over and acts in us. He does not act against our free will, but by our free will we allow Him to move us, such that we can say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me.”
We have a perfect example of this in our Blessed Mother. She was so filled with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that everything she did, everything, was in perfect accordance with God’s will and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
We need: the gift of the fear of the Lord, which makes us afraid of offending God our Father and thus helps us to remove anything and everything that stands between us and God; it helps us clear away anything and everything that blocks our path to heaven. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” says Scripture. This is where holiness begins.
The gift of fortitude, not only to persevere in our pursuit of holiness, but to have a craving for it, a big appetite, if you will, for holiness.
The gift of piety, which moves us to love and worship God and to love and honor our brothers and sisters in Christ in meekness and humility.
The gift of counsel to direct us through difficult decisions in life, moving us to always do not simply what is good, but what is best in every situation, inspiring us to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
The gift of knowledge to help us judge rightly concerning the things of this world, helping us to see the transitoriness of this life, inspiring in us a healthy sadness towards this life and thus a greater joy in heavenly things.
The gift of understanding to help our minds penetrate into the truths and mysteries of our Faith, accepting all the truths the Church teaches us with humility and trust.
Finally, the gift of wisdom, which allows us to judge and order all things, every aspect of our life, according to God, subjecting everything to His holy will.
On this Feast of Pentecost approaches let us implore the Holy Spirit, that He will revive in us these gifts, that we might respond more perfectly to His will.
Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Amen.
•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.