October 7, 2017

Life On The Hilltop

Announcements

•The next Parent Prayer Group Meeting is this Sunday, October 8, at Maria Lange's home, at 7:00 PM.  All St. Michael’s Prep parents are welcome to come and pray!

•This Sunday, October 8, at 3:30 PM, we will have an Open House for prospective students.  Feel free to spread the word to interested families.

•On Wednesday, October 11, our sophomores will be taking the pre-ACT and the juniors will be taking the PSAT during the morning hours of the school day.

•First Quarter Oral Exams are Tuesday October 17 through Friday October 20: 

  •     10/17 Tuesday: Math, English, Greek
  •     10/18 Wednesday: Latin, Choir, Art
  •     10/19 Thursday: Sciences, History
  •     10/20 Friday: Religion

Students are encouraged to study; parents are encouraged to pray!
First Quarter report cards will be emailed home on Thursday, October 26.

•The next all-school parent meeting is Sunday, October 29, at 6:30 PM.  This meeting is for moms and dads only (not students); Fr. Benedict Solomon, O. Praem. will be speaking to parents about the challenges of raising teenage boys.

 

Athletics

•Congratulations to our football team on its recent victory.  The team’s record is now 3-2.
•*The next football game is this Thursday, October 12, at 3:30 PM, at St. Michael's.  Come out and cheer us on!
•The next cross country meet is Wednesday, October 11, at 2:30 PM, at St. Michael’s.  Come out and cheer the team on!

STM Cross Country Team

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

Do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…

These words which St. Paul spoke to St. Timothy could almost be used as the motto of the early Christians, who time and time again found themselves face to face with an unbelieving and even hostile and hateful world, one which was not slow to inflict on the followers of Christ many sufferings.  This, however, never stopped them from proclaiming and living out the truths taught to them by our Blessed Lord, even in the midst of the very men who killed Christ.  I guess you could say these first Christians were not very “politically correct.”  In fact, anyone who followed Christ in those days could be sure of being accused of “not fitting in,” “an extremist,” of being accused of “making too many waves,” or even being labeled a “threat to society.”  

The word “testimony” is “martyrion” in Greek; to give testimony is to be a “martyr”.  To be a martyr is to bear witness to the truth, to bear witness to Christ and His Church, with one’s life—preferring to die rather than to deny even the smallest truth of our Faith.  Every person in the first 300 years of Christianity who decided to be baptized and follow Christ knew what he was getting into; he knew that he was risking his life by witnessing to the truth, that there was a good chance that he would be killed for his Faith; but these brave Christians did not fear, they actually rejoiced when they were persecuted and hoped for martyrdom.  History has recorded for us literally thousands of accounts of Christians going to their death for the Catholic Faith: men and women, rich and poor, the elderly and even little children.  They were beaten to death, fed to the lions, killed by the sword, poisoned, burned at the stake, drowned, tortured in various ways, crucified—all for the love of Christ and His Catholic Church.

These are the heroes of our Christian Faith; but was it, is it, really necessary to undergo such hardships to be good Catholics?  Can’t we just be good quiet people, minding our own business, not making a fuss about anything? Do we have to be so extreme? Yes, we do.  God does not call everyone to suffer the death of the martyrs.  This is true; but all of us are required to have the spirit of the martyrs, to not render evil for evil—as St. Peter tells us, but to bless and pray for those who persecute us, to be ready and willing at every moment to suffer and die for Christ and our Catholic Faith, if we are so asked.  And chances are, if you live your faith the way you ought, you will sooner or later, to one degree or another, suffer for it.  Didn’t our Lord Himself say, If anyone wishes to be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me? And again, If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you…and In the world you will have tribulation. 

The devil and all those who foolishly fall into his snare (and they are many) hate Christ and anyone follows Him, and they attack His Church without ceasing.  If you’re not convinced, just read a magazine or a newspaper; turn on the television.  “Catholic bashing” is in; standing up for Christ and His Church is not.  How many faithful Catholics are criticized and even publicly denounced by their own pastors for wanting to kneel during Mass, for wishing to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, for having more than 2.5 children, for wanting to go to Confession more than once a year.  These are not only legitimate options, they are even encouraged by the Church; and yet so many Catholics are persecuted for putting them into practice.  

And so we can do one of two things: we can—like our brothers and sisters who went before us—boldly preach and practice what has been handed down to us, in the face of a world who thinks were a bunch of extremists, or we can give in, be a “religious wimp” by not practicing our faith when someone else does not like it, denying Christ and the Catholic Church.  But just remember, Christ Himself said, He who denies Me, I will deny him before My Father.  

Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, a very holy Croatian cardinal who was poisoned by the Communists some years ago, once said, If I had a thousand lives, I would give each and every one of them for God’s holy Church.  I think most of us would feel quite ashamed if we would read some of the heroic stories of those who suffered and died for our Catholic Faith, when we ourselves are too afraid to say grace before meals in public, too afraid to tell our co-workers that their dirty jokes bother us, when we bite our tongue when should speak out against things like homosexual relationships, contraception, euthanasia.  In the face of such things we must stand firm, and we will suffer for our courage.  But remember Christ also said, Fear not, I have overcome the world, and again, Behold I am with you even to the end of time. 

Pray for the fortitude, for the courage and the humility to practice your Catholic Faith always and everywhere, and to endure faithfully all the suffering which will come to you, so that you will never “be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord;” and some day you too will join the saints who reign in heaven with Christ our King, to Whom be all glory and honor.  Amen.

Prayer Requests

•For the mother of Mrs. Toni Aeschliman, who is suffering from severe health issues.
•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.