Praised be Jesus Christ! I’ve been meaning to share with you the best quote I found in one of the many Christmas cards I received this year: “Knowing that God supplies all our necessities, and that one of our necessities is that we surrender to Him, we should not be surprised that He comes to us an infant; for surrender to an infant, any infant is easy. Surely never did God receive more fully what is due to Him from man than when He was an infant. Every infant demands and receives the most complete self-giving that we are capable of. The perfection of surrender to God is Mary with the infant Christ.” The quote comes from Caryl Houselander and is found in her book, Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross. I share it here because we begin Catholic Schools Week and so we are reminded of Christ’s plea, “Let the children come to me,” (Mt. 19:14). We’re blessed with excellent Catholic schools and so are given the opportunity to live out our two-fold mission: 1) to bring the Sacraments to Christ’s people, and 2) to educate Christ’s people so that they understand and reverence the graces Christ gives as He nourishes, heals, and forgives us through the Sacraments of the Church. Many priests need to experience conversion to believe what I’ve just written – I needed such a conversion too, as I was sometimes guilty of wondering if the sacrifices necessary to keep a Catholic school open and viable were really worth it. The answer is unequivocally “yes”! Many of our future priests, religious, and active lay members will be products of Catholic schools. I hope each of our parents considers offering their children the gift of a Catholic education. My parents made heroic sacrifices so that I could attend a Catholic high school seminary (Holy Name in Madison) and God knows it put me on a path that has been a gift in my life. Please attend or encourage other young families to attend one of the Open Houses Columbus will be hosting: Our Lady of Peace is hosting theirs from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on February 12th, Saint John’s is scheduled for February 19th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Columbus Middle and High School’s is set for February 21st from 6:00-7:30 p.m. I’ll close with the original “Prayer for Columbus High School” which has been recently revised and updated by our own Father Sedlacek (please pray it sincerely for our children, their parents, and all faculty and staff of Columbus Catholic Schools):
O Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who in giving Your Church the duty and power to bring Your holy teachings to the faithful, said to the Apostles, ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,’ look in Your mercy upon our imperfect but sincere efforts to carry out this divine commission. Just as, through the Holy Spirit, You imparted to the apostles the knowledge and the courage to go forth into a pagan world as the leaven of salvation, so also grant to the young men and women being educated at Columbus Catholic Schools the necessary knowledge and courage to go forth in life as the shining light of Your Truth and the salt of Christian example to save from its own destruction a world that is hostile to Christ’s teachings. May we, the staff, teachers, parents, and all the faithful, not count any sacrifice too great for the fulfillment of this lofty goal, but rather grant to us a true spirit of Godly zeal, unsparing self-denial, and Christ-like charity in the holy work of giving Your dearly beloved children a firm grasp of their faith and a desire to know You, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.”
May God continue to bless our Columbus Catholic Schools with families who live the faith with true joy!
Your friend in Christ,