Dear Friends and Families of Lumen,
First of all, let me wish a very happy belated Mother’s Day to all of our Lumen Verum mothers. I hope and pray you all had a beautiful, restful day, and that in this month of Mary you yourselves were able to take comfort in the love of our Blessed Mother. May you feel her holding each of you close to her loving heart and cast all your cares into her protection!
It’s the season of sacraments, milestones, and transitions: First Communions and Confirmations as the Easter season comes to an end, as well as graduations and awards ceremonies as we wrap up the academic year. Yesterday’s Gospel invites us to reflect on the way Jesus prepared His disciples for a huge transition in their own lives: His death, resurrection, and ascension. Underlying Jesus’s words to His Apostles is, in my view, His empathetic awareness of how stressful change and transition can be for human beings. In preparation for the upcoming turmoil, fear, and anxiety, Jesus promises: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. . . I will not leave you orphans.” This Advocate comes at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles with courage and zeal.
Remembering that the Holy Spirit most fully enters the Apostles’ lives precisely at this transition moment, when they must learn how to live without Jesus’s corporeal presence among them as their leader, is an invitation to us as well: when we are at moments of transition, do we invite the Holy Spirit in as our advocate and guide? We know that the Holy Spirit fills us with His gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. And we also know, from the Acts of the Apostles, the results of allowing the Holy Spirit in: we are filled with courage and able to work great deeds in the service of God. It is at times of transition that we need those gifts and virtues the most.
It is also important to note, however, the Holy Spirit’s gifts are not solely for the individual, to help the individual become more virtuous on his or her own, or to feel personally more joyful in the midst of a stressful situation. The Holy Spirit is also always working for the whole community and for the common good. He is the principle of unity that moves the whole community of the faithful towards a common purpose, and He helps each individual within the community find their part in the whole. As Michael Brummond writes, “The Holy Spirit coordinates the charism[ata] given to various individuals for the Church. . . [He] orders the various gifts within the Church for the common good, providing unity in diversity.” To invite the Holy Spirit into our discernment, then, means that we are asking Him to help us find our place in the whole and asking Him to direct our actions towards God’s purposes and the common good. It is also an invitation to trust: we may never have complete clarity or full understanding of how our work advances God’s purposes, but we can rest assured that, as long as we invite the Spirit in, He will work in us and through us and bring all things to beautiful fruition.
Times of transition shake things up. We move into different jobs, different schools, different environments and settings. We take on different roles within our communities, families, and workplaces. In these moments – and especially now, as we prepare for Pentecost – let’s pray that the Holy Spirit guides us to where He wants us to be, gives us the prudence to know how to respond faithfully to His promptings, and trust that He can and will use our feeble efforts to advance the work of God.
May God richly bless you all this week.
Pax et bonum,
Our educational philosophy is rooted in the conviction that human beings are made by God in His image, with a desire to seek and know the Truth. As Catholics we believe that this search finds its fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our educational program is designed to enable students to learn in a manner that honors their God-given desire to become free and joyful members of a community of faithful learners striving for growth in wisdom.
At the center of Lumen Verum Academy, and indeed the center of human life, is Jesus Christ. Lumen Verum seeks to immerse students in the life of Catholic faith and enable them to enter into a living and vibrant relationship with the Son of God. It is only Christ who can fully reveal us to ourselves (Lumen Gentium). Within our approach to Catholic formation, scholars will not only come to know the God who loves them, but, in the light and truth of Christ, be awakened to their own “dignity beyond compare” (JPII) as sons and daughters made in the image and likeness of God.
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All photo credit to George Martell