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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 25

By December 16, 2022May 5th, 2023No Comments

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

–St. John Paul II Preface to Fides et Ratio

Fides et Ratio Reflections

Wednesday, December 14 was the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church. The 16th century Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet is known as the “Mystical Doctor,” and St. John Paul II called him “a master in the faith and witness to the living God.”

In post number two, I noted that “In 1948 he [St. John Paul II] completed his Doctorate in Theology with his dissertation ‘The Doctrine of Faith According to St. John of the Cross.’”

He so admired the Carmelite mystic that he almost joined the Carmelites! He even learned Spanish so he could read the mystical poetry of St. John of the Cross in the original language.

With his spirituality centered on the Cross, self-denial, and freedom from worldly attachments, St. John of the Cross is indeed a master teacher of the faith.

St. John Paul II emphasized the crucial nature of the cross in the dialogue of faith and reason: “The true keypoint, which challenges every philosophy, is Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. It is here that every attempt to reduce the Father’s saving plan to purely human logic is doomed to failure” (Fides et ratio, No. 23).

It’s About Time

St. Lucy

Her name means “light,” and we remember her on December 13 each year. With our schools’ Advent theme, St. Lucy serves as a bright reminder: “Let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5b).

Though the early-fourth century martyr died in Sicily, the Scandinavian countries—especially enveloped in December darkness—have developed beautiful “Santa Lucia” traditions which celebrate the light of Christ shining in the Virgin Martyr.

Enjoy this Swedish festival of “walking in the light of the Lord” with St. Lucy:

Storm Days

Wintry Weather outside St. Mary’s Cathedral

Or is it “Storm Daze”? The past three days seem surreal as we had to deal with winter storms and their effects on our school schedules. I am grateful for the patience, understanding, and flexibility with the recent school day cancellations due to stormy weather (school closed two consecutive days). Our leadership team is very conscious of the effects of our decisions on families and staff members as we apply prudential judgments to particular antipated weather conditions. We need to balance safe travelling conditions with progress in learning. Today, is “business-as-usual” in our schools with classes and activities proceeding.

End of First Semester

Next week is final exams week for Shanley High School, and Wednesday, December 21 is the final day of classes for all our students. Congratulations to our students, staff, and parents for the progress in learning first semester.

Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed Christmas vacation, everyone!

President’s Proverb

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”

–G.K. Chesterton

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

“Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

–Luke 24:44b

Lectionary Readings: Fourth Sunday of Advent | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 24:1-6

Responsorial Refrain: “Let the Lord enter; He is king of glory.” (cf. Psalm 24:7, 10)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Fourth Sunday Advent 2022, Psalm 24 Cycle A – YouTube

We have been called to prepare for the Lord Jesus’ arrival throughout Advent. There are three tenses of the Lord’s coming about which we can profitably reflect: past in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, present day in our hearts and communities, and future in the end of days.

Now on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear Psalm 24’s appeal to prepare for the entrance of the Lord, the “King of glory.” The dramatic questions for this liturgical procession— “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place”—and subsequent answers beckon us to prepare in earnest for the Lord’s coming now: “One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is in vain” (Psalm 24:3-4). With Christmas day precisely one week away, let us make our final preparations to receive our king as we sing, “Let the Lord enter; He is king of glory.”

Mike Hagstrom