Updates from our Principals
This week we celebrate several wonderful feasts! On May 2, we celebrated the Feast of St. Athanasius, whose magnificent letter to Marcellinus on the Psalms gives us a glimpse into the spirituality that nourished the courage and witness of the man who stood “contra mundum” – “against the world” – in his defense of Jesus’s divinity. Athanasius writes that, though the Psalms were written centuries ago and by someone who could not possibly know our particular circumstances, when we prayerfully read (or better yet sing!) the Psalms:
it is as though it were one’s own words that were read; and anyone who hears them is moved at heart, as though they voiced for him his deepest thoughts. . . the reader takes all its words upon his lips as though they were his own, and each one sings the Psalms as though they had been written for his special benefit, not as though someone else were speaking or another person’s feelings being described, but as himself speaking of himself, offering the words to God as his own heart’s utterance, just as though he himself had made them up.
What more inspiration do we need to open the book of Psalms? Here are some of Athanasius’s recommendations (which may have given him strength during his own sufferings):
- Psalm 3 – If you are persecuted by your own family and opposed by many
- Psalm 116 – When you would give thanks to God at your affliction’s end
- Psalm 5 – When you see the wicked wanting to ensnare you and you wish your prayer to reach God’s ears
- Psalm 7 – If any plot against you
- Psalm 140 – When you need to pray against your enemies
- Psalm 18 – When you have been delivered from oppressors
- Psalm 25 – When enemies surround you
- Psalm 31 – When you find yourself hated because of your faith
- Psalm 46 – When you want to give God thanks and tell of His mercy
It is such a marvel that the same psalms David wrote when persecuted by Saul, which are the same psalms prayed by Christ on the cross and the same psalms sung by Athanasius when he faced imprisonment and exile, are also the same psalms we sing at Mass and daily in the Liturgy of the Hours. What a rich and wonderful legacy we have! Please read our curriculum updates below to see how our scholars have been praying and studying the Psalms in many classes this week.
Today, we celebrate the Feasts of St. Philip and James. Philip is the Apostle who, after having encountered Jesus in Galilee, offered the invitation to a skeptical Nathanael (and to all of us): “Come and see!” (John 1:46). Yet despite the apparent strength of his early faith – “We have found the one!” he boldly declared – Philip also had his moments of doubt. When Jesus commands his disciples to feed the crowds, Philip scoffs, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough to feed the crowd!” (John 6:7). And when Philip begs Jesus to “show him the Father” (John 14:8), Jesus gently scolds him: “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? . . . How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” Yet Jesus’s scolding is accompanied by the most merciful reassurance: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Philip’s career as an Apostle invites us to reflect on the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows, of our relationship with Christ – a relationship that can, at times, be exuberant, confident, and courageous, yet at others be stumbling, questioning, and uncertain. Will Christ provide for our needs? Will He give us the ability to do what He asks of us? Will He lead us to His Father? Will He do what He has promised to do? Philip raises all of these questions to Jesus – and his example also shows us that, when we humbly offer the poverty of our faith to the Lord, the Lord will respond with immense gentleness and compassion – and sometimes, maybe even a miracle.
Pax et bonum,
Greetings in Christ, LVA Families!
I hope you and your families are doing well as we continue to enjoy this blessed Easter season, and soak in the beauty of springtime in New England. We are also on the homestretch for LVA’s first academic year!
As we anticipate Mother’s Day this weekend, it is a great time to thank God for our mothers and show them our sincere love and devotion on this day set aside uniquely for them. In our rich Catholic tradition, the month of May is also set aside to honor our Blessed Mother Mary. One way that we honor our Blessed Mother, is through reverent prayer, acknowledging her place in God’s incredible plan of salvation history. The following Canticle of Mary, the Virgin Mary’s response after learning that she would become the Mother of God, offers us a glimpse of her beautiful maternal heart, which professes humility, gratitude and honor to God for His mercy and blessing. Praying this prayer, embracing Mary’s humble heart, also bonds us to grow in our love for her, as well as her love for us.
Magnificat Canticle of Mary
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: for the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham, and his children forever.
(St. Luke 1:46-55)
Mark your calendars! On Wednesday, May 18th, we invite all families to join us for a special May Crowning at Our Lady of Fatima in Sudbury from 3 to 4pm. Fr. Souza will be leading us, and all LVA families are welcome to participate in this devotion, as well as a short celebration afterward with light refreshments.
Below are some ways to enrich your family’s devotion to Our Mother Mary during the month May- and beyond:
- Set aside time to pray the rosary together and empower/teach your child(ren) to lead a decade. Here are some creative ideas for those who might need a kick-start to praying the rosary as a family.
- As a family, watch and discuss this catechesis by Fr. Mike Schmitz on “Why Catholics Call Mary their Mother.”
- Begin a Marian Consecration on Monday, May 9th in order to consecrate yourself/your family to our Blessed Mother on the Feast of Her Immaculate Heart on June 25th. For info explaining Marian Consecration, please click here.
- Watch the classic film, “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima,” which retells the story of Mary’s apparitions to the children of Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.
- Host your very own Family May Crowning.
On Saturday, April 30th, LVA4Life hosted our school’s first family dance. A big thank you to Mrs. Richer and the LVA4Life students, as it was a tremendous success with good, wholesome fun had by all. The money raised went to the following organizations/charities: The Sisters of Life, Visitation House in Worcester, and a local family in need. Also, we would like to extend a special thank you to the visiting students from Trivium School. They offered excellent instruction in swing dance and the waltz while enhancing our evening with a splash of traditional and classical dance. We look forward to future dances in the next academic year, joyfully enriching our LVA community.
May the Lord continue to richly bless you and your families as we continue to experience the joy of our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ this Easter Season!
Upcoming Feast Day
Hike and Ice Cream Social for Interested Families
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