• Our Moms and Dads Prayer Groups will come together (both at the same time) to pray this Sunday, September 8, at 7:00 PM in the Perpetual Help Classroom. All moms and dads are welcome! Contact Mrs. Rimini Esser for more information.
• Mr. Hanson, our College Counselor, will give a presentation on college applications, etc. next Sunday, September 15, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help classroom. Juniors and seniors and their parents are encouraged (but not required) to attend; all others are welcome.
• Looking ahead: Mark your calendars now for Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 6. More information to come as it gets closer.
• Congratulations to Fr. Vianney and our football team on their recent victory! The team is now 2-0 for the season. The next football game is: Friday, September 13, at 3:15 PM, at St. Michael’s.
• The next cross country meet is: Saturday, September 14, the Laguna Hills Invitational Laguna Hills High School, 25401 Paseo De Valencia, Laguna Hills, CA 92653]. See Mr. Schoenfeld for more details.
• Frater Peregrine will once again be the coach of our Archery Team. Contact him if your son would like to be a member of the team this year.
We heard in today’s Gospel how our Blessed Lord cured a blind man. “How wonderful,” one might say, “to have been there for such a great display of divine power!” “Why is it,” many object, “that we cannot witness miracles in our day? Has God forgotten about us? If He would just exercise His omnipotence a little more often, the Church and the world would all be in a better state than they presently are!”
Now we could answer such objections by mentioning the literally thousands of miracles which have been performed over the last hundred years alone—miracles which the Church requires before she beatifies and canonizes her saints (and just think how many have been beatified and canonized in just the last 25 years). Or we could recall the past two thousand years of the Church’s history: the fact that she continues to exist and to preserve whole and untarnished the saving truths of God—a miracle in itself when you consider the sinfulness of her members. But there are some things which are even more astounding, things which manifest God’s power far more than miracles do, and we witness them every week if not everyday, namely the seven sacraments.
Miracles, as great as they are, do not in themselves communicate supernatural grace. Miracles are works done by God to move the unbeliever to belief. Theologians call them “motives of credibility.” It’s true, miracles do surpass the limits of nature to some extent, that is insofar as the effect brought about by them comes in a way which is beyond nature’s normal mode of behavior—for instance the immediate curing of a fatal disease, the raising to life of a dead body, the multiplication of loaves of bread. The sacraments, however, totally surpass nature. They are truly supernatural works because they have for their effect the communication of divine grace, something which is supernatural in itself and cannot in any way come from nature, but from God alone. The sacraments are—after our Lord’s Incarnation and Resurrection—the greatest manifestations of divine power.
Just take a moment to consider some of these “seven wonders of God’s Church.” In Baptism, a person—formerly stained with original sin, eternally shut out from heaven, devoid of any presence of God in his life—in an instant, through the recitation of some simple words and the pouring of some water on his head, that same person becomes a child of God, an heir to His Kingdom and a temple of the Holy Spirit. In Confession, a sinner, perhaps fallen from the state of grace, again in an instant has all of his sins washed away, all eternal and at least some temporal punishment is removed, and his soul is filled with supernatural grace and charity. St. Augustine once said that it is a greater thing to absolve the sins of one man than to create an entire universe. And what about the Mass, the greatest of sacraments, where mere bread and wine become the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of God Himself, where—to quote St. Augustine again—the Word of God becomes incarnate in the hands of the priest as in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. We won’t even mention Confirmation, Marriage, Extreme Unction and Holy Orders—those other magnificent channels of God’s grace, where sins are forgiven, grace, virtue and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are increased, and man becomes more and more like God!
How we’ve grown too accustomed to these mighty works of our Lord. With what little fervor we often receive them. You see, it’s only when we fail to notice the everyday divine wonders right before our eyes that we begin to look for the extravagant works. Not that we cannot pray for miracles; we most certainly can. But just remember, even if one were to wave his hand and bring back to life in an instant all the dead in these graves around us, even that would be nothing, nothing, compared to one Mass, one Confession, a Baptism or a Marriage. The devil could work natural wonders; but only God can bring about a sacrament.
Today’s Gospel tells us that when our Lord brought the young man back to life, fear fell upon all present and they glorified God. Thank God at this Mass for the 7 wonders He has given us, the sacraments of His Church, and pray for a greater reverence for them all, seeing in them not just some mundane formality but the very power of God Himself. To Him be all honor and glory. 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.