•This is a 3-day weekend. The school office is closed on Monday. Students return Monday evening between 6:45 PM and 7:45 PM. Please remember that students must return in their school uniform.
•Student photos will be taken on September 7 (Thursday), after school. Please make sure your son has a nice haircut (if needed) by then.
•Our Chaplain Fr. Miguel and alumnus Cristian Aguilar spoke to the student body this past week about the importance of being a mature Catholic man and having the courage to speak up when witnessing bad behavior. Thank you to Fr. Miguel and Cristian!
•The Abbey Gala is Saturday, September 23. See the abbey website for more details.
•Our next football game is: Thursday, September 14, at 3:30 PM, at St. Michael’s.
•The cross country team has a tentative date for their first invitational: September 9. More information forthcoming.
Many there are…who are enemies of the Cross of Christ…
It’s very easy, when we hear these words, to think immediately of and point the finger at all those who completely reject the Catholic Faith, or even those “cafeteria Catholics”, as we call them—those who pick and choose what they want to believe, rejecting anything that demands a little effort. But if we keep reading the rest of that sentence of St. Paul: …whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things—if we read these lines we are forced to admit with a bit of embarrassment that perhaps we also, at least now and then, fall into that category of the “enemies of the Cross.”
Addressing a group of Catholics of his day, St. Louis De Montfort placed the following words on the lips of our Lord: See that almost everybody leaves Me practically alone on the royal road of the Cross. Blind idol-worshippers sneer at My Cross and call it folly. Obstinate Jews are scandalized at the sight of it as at some monstrosity. Heretics tear it down and break it to pieces out of sheer contempt. But one thing I cannot say without My eyes filling with tears and My heart being pierced with grief, is that the very children I nourished and trained in My school, the very members I enlivened with My spirit, have turned against Me, forsaken Me and joined the ranks of the enemies of My Cross…There are many who pretend that they are friends of Mine and love Me, but in reality they hate Me because they have no love for My Cross. I have many friends of My table, but few indeed love My Cross.
What does it mean, “to love the Cross”? Does it mean that we must find joy in pain itself? No. Only a madman finds joy in pain. Does it mean that we are obliged to ask God to grant us as much suffering as possible, to inflict us with every kind of ailment? No, not necessarily. Although there have been heroic men and women who, throughout the history of the Church, have offered themselves up as “victim souls”, who have asked God to give them extra sufferings in order to make reparation for sin. One case is Bl. James Kern, a Norbertine priest from Austria; he offered himself as a victim soul in order to make reparation for an apostate priest. Bl. James became a Norbertine for the sole purpose of making reparation for this other priest. And there have been others who, filled with a very high degree of charity, have offered themselves up as sacrificial victims. While this is certainly praiseworthy, it is not what God requires from most of us. To love the Cross, to be a friend of the Cross, means for most of us to accept with joy all the little sufferings God sends our way not because pain in itself is good, but because by sharing in Christ’s sufferings we manifest our love for Him and we cooperate with Him in saving souls, including our own.
We all know that Christ has already merited from the Father the salvation of every soul, but we also know (though we don’t always like to admit it) that Christ loves us so much that He wants us to share in His redemptive work; He loves us so much that He wants us to imitate Him; He loves us so much that He wants us to manifest our love for Him—and what greater love is there than to lay down one’s life for his friends. When we unite our sufferings to Christ’s—and this simply means to accept them out of love for Him, and to do so with patience, humility and joy—when we unite our sufferings to Christ’s sufferings, they become a powerful medicine, curing our soul of its worldliness; those sufferings also become priceless treasures and obtain graces for those in need and pay off the debt of our sins or of those in purgatory.
Suffering has forever been the mystery of our earthly lives. Even faithful Catholics can’t help wonder why it is that they have received this or that trial. But God never asked us to worry about the reason why we suffer. In fact, He told us not to worry. What’s really important is not the reason we are suffering, but rather the fact that every suffering that God allows us to undergo is meant to bring us closer to Him—closer to Christ: whether it be by purifying us from worldly things, humbling our proud hearts, giving us an opportunity to do penance for our sins, allowing us to make reparation for the sins of another. Whatever the case may be, the one thing we must never forget, is that all suffering is a priceless treasure when united to the Cross of Christ. Indeed, if we really saw with the eyes of the saints how valuable suffering is, we would be begging for it!
De profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine… “Out of the depths I cry to Thee, O God.” These words from a Psalm remind us of those who are supremely aware of the value of suffering, namely the souls in purgatory. They now see that those little crosses God gives us in this life are really priceless treasures, valuable medicine, a golden rope which pulls us closer to Christ.
So don’t be afraid of the Cross; don’t be an enemy of the Cross; rather, be a friend of the Cross. Did not our Lord promise us that His “yoke is easy and His burden light”? Embrace the Cross and you will see that it is really Christ Who carries it anyhow; we only have to trust in Him. Do you want to convert the world? Do you want to reform the Church? Do you want to get to heaven? Just carry the little Cross that God has cut out for you. It has the shape of a cross, but it is really the key to heaven.
James Kern once said, God always needs people, some for work and others for suffering…And if I am allowed to be even just a little wheel in God’s plan for the world, then I shall be exceedingly joyful. May he and all of God’s holy ones intercede for us, that, with the help of God’s grace, we might do our part in God’s plan, by our suffering and our working, by being lovers of the Cross of Christ, and so someday rejoice forever in heaven. 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.