For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Anyone who knows me knows that waiting, let alone in silence, can be a struggle for me. Sometimes it feels like God especially knows this about me and often challenges me on this! When things feel chaotic, I search for ready answers so that peace can be restored. While I believe that God wishes me to experience peace, He also tells me to be patient and persevere. Sometimes the answer is not immediate and sometimes the answer is : Wait.
Dr Carlisle writes, God’s silence is not indifference. Somehow this resilient faith that perseveres is part of his work of transformation in our lives. Heaven knows, His work of transforming me is far from over.
Some of our Grade 9 to 12 students recently began the journey of discovering Ignatian Discernment. How do we make decisions? I sat at the back and pondered this in my own life. Do I wait on the Lord without doubts? Do I know that I am not actually in chaos but in the steady presence of my Lord?
What I need is to find contentment and rest in the waiting and recognize that the silence is sacred space. I need to trust that God knows and wants what's best for me. I need to take time to retreat not only from the world's noise but from the internal noise that distracts me.
Randy Alcorn tells us, The call to wait on God is an invitation to trust and hope. It entails believing that one day — even if today is not that day — He will make all things right. In times of waiting, as we seek God in prayer, we must learn to listen to Him as well as talk to Him — to shut out the clatter and quietly wait as He unfolds to us His person, purposes, promises, and plan.
In these shorter days of Advent, when darkness is far more present and the world's cares seem to press in on us more prevalently, do we take time to embrace the silence and continue to hope? Do we still our minds and put off our own understanding, waiting to be filled with His Spirit?
At morning assembly these past two weeks, we lit our Advent candles and lengthened our Scripture readings. We quieted our spirits in prayer amidst the excitement and anticipation of the Christmas break. I am so proud of our students for the careful preparation they have undertaken to make our upcoming Nine Lessons & Carols breathtakingly beautiful. What a gift!
As we head into week 3 of Advent, let us wait patiently in joyful hope. In the words of Michael Rubbelke:
If all seems comfortable, easy, triumphant–the glass of our window fogged over by Christmas hymns, cookies, and family gatherings–let us again look to the poor and marginalized whose sufferings are real.
If all seems hopeless, dark–the days shortening and nights lengthening–let us wait hopefully for Christ to grow and act in us even when we cannot perceive it.
If we have avoided the waiting, if we have busied ourselves so as to obscure the world’s pain and the hope of Christ’s coming, let us turn again in empathy to our reality and in hope to the One already living in our hearts.
If Christ seems hidden from us, let us accept this in prayer and hope, letting Him be so, for He is at work, no less in the silent darkness of our world than in the silent darkness of Mary’s womb.
Let us wait for Him in silence, in merciful empathy, in joyful hope during these last days of Advent. For Christ comes in our waiting to share our life. He grows in us so as to live His life in the world. Through us, He brings this world to the Father’s heart, our truest home.
Come, Lord Jesus.
As we begin week 10, we are called to both GRATITUDE and REMEMBRANCE.
On the heels of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our many blessings, including the amazing start to our academic year and the incredible weather we experienced (until Oct 23rd that is!). We rejoice in the accomplishments of our students and the joy that resonates in classrooms throughout the schola. Anyone who has heard our adhoc Barbershop Ninetet (as they call themselves) singing in the hallways cannot help but smile!!
One of the immense blessings for me this past month was the celebration of Mass at Evanston Summit Retirement Community. As part of the Dying To Meet You project in our diocese, this community was selected to represent the vulnerable in our midst who often do not have access to a full Sunday Mass experience. Our senior choir was chosen to participate because of our focus on beauty. The goal was to elevate the Mass to the best it can be. Mr Edwards led a small contingent of the senior choir (due to space limitations) and the result was incredibly beautiful. What a gift our young people are!
Our staff met on the 23rd for a full day of professional development at Mount St Francis Retreat Centre. We began the day with Mass, followed by 5 separate sessions and a lovely lunch! It was a wonderful opportunity to come together without the stresses of the day to day and dig deeper into the significance of classical education and how we can best help the students in our care. I am grateful for each member of our team.
As we begin Allhallowtide today, we remember our loved ones who have passed before us, rejoice in the saints who are already with our Lord and pray for all the souls still in purgatory, awaiting purification.
On Friday, Novmber 10th during morning assembly, our community will take a moment to remember those who sacrificed for our freedom. All are welcome to join us.
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, Lest we forget - lest we forget!
- Rudyard Kipling
My early morning drives to the schola are usually filled with thoughts of the day ahead - meetings to prepare for, calls to make, people to talk to - an array of the important and the less important. The start of the academic year, while exciting and filled with promise, also brings added responsibility with myriad details to attend to.
A few weeks ago, I was startled from my driving reverie by an incredible sight in my rearview mirror: a gorgeous September sunrise. Calgary skies often treat us to beautiful colour palettes both morning and evening, but this was particularly spectacular and it took my breath away. I was instantly pulled from the mundane toward the divine.
That sense of awe and wonder, and inevitable gratitude, forms part of what keeps me here at SJCS. Our mission is to cultivate Wisdom and Virtue through the understanding of all that is true, good and beautiful. We strive to present Truth and Goodness to our students in a beautiful way, pulling each of us toward the divine. Beauty is found not only in God's works of nature but also the works of man that reflect His infinite beauty. We endeavour to share some of these most beautiful works, in the form of classic literature, art and music.
Pope Benedict once wrote, the via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty, is a privileged and fascinating path on which to approach the Mystery of God. What is the beauty that writers, poets, musicians, and artists contemplate and express in their language other than the reflection of the splendour of the eternal Word made flesh?
Our staff, new and returning, are so pleased to welcome our students to what promises to be a great year ahead. Tutors, entrusted with the task of cultivating wisdom in our students and helping them grow in virtue, are excited to share their knowledge and passion for excellence.
Please pray for this academic year with me, either by joining the SJCS Prayer Guild, participating in our Friday morning Rosary or simply popping in to assembly on any morning!
Let us be grateful for the beauty that surrounds us and may God bless our schola.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)