The Weekly Bulletin from the Catholic Community at The Family Foundation School
Pauca Verba (a few words)
Number 26 – May 23, 2010
People are quickly forgetting how to live together well. Saint Benedict understood: many people lived like beasts in his time. And today? In his rule for monks, Benedict lays out the basics. Do I follow these precepts or am I just going my own way?
- Our actions everywhere are in God’s sight and are reported by angels at every hour.
- We must be on guard against any base desire, because death is stationed near the gateway of pleasure.
- A humble person does not love his/her own will.
- A humble heart quickly embraces suffering.
- A humble person is content with the lowest and most menial tasks.
- A humble person is convinced in the heart that he/she is inferior to all.
- A humble person controls his tongue.
- A humble person speaks gently.
- All the things that a person once dreaded doing, he/she will now begin to do out of love for Christ, good habit and a delight in virtue (practiced goodness.)
- We believe that the divine presence is everywhere.
- Let us consider how we ought to believe in the presence of God and his angels.
- Let us sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.
When asked about the people who dislike her husband, Michelle Obama answered:
“You’re not on this earth to make everyone love you. You do what you think is right and you treat other people well, and then you keep living your life.”
We received an email from a Family School student who reflected on a life of bitterness – because the young man’s dear friend had died sadly and suddenly. It dawned on him that being angry and bitter was not the best response to his friend’s dying. He said: “When my best friend died, I blamed God and everyone else because I thought that anything good in my life would be taken away. I was wrong. Instead of focusing on how she died, I began focusing on how she lived, and I decided that I wanted to develop her kind of love and compassion to pass on to other people as she had passed this on to me.” WHOA!
Some of us went to pray at the Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha at Fonda, New York earlier this week. We learned that Kateri had contracted smallpox as a girl and that while she survived the disease, it left her eyes damaged and her sight impaired.
Bishop Charles Chaput of Rapid City, South Dakota reflected on this aspect of Blessed Kateri’s life. She is a model for all of us. How wonderful it is to have the witness of the saints!
“Tekawitha means she who stumbles into things. Isn’t that a marvelous image of us? We bump into so many things, we struggle to know who we are and our place in the Church. But as God used Blessed Kateri’s poor gifts and made them something wonderful for God, so God uses us in our own stumbling and bumping into the things of life, and can do wonders. Although we stumble, we’re on the path that leads to God.”
We will be together for Mass only five times more before graduation. It is no secret, but many of us who have been faithful to Mass while living here at The Family School, will never go to Mass again. Others will perhaps participate a few times and then drift away, surrendering to laziness or the world’s teachings which tickle our ears, Saint Paul writes. Pray for these souls and for ourselves, that we would be faithful to Christ who loves us from the cross. But some, even one or two, will endure – living real Catholic-Christian lives – rooted in the Gospels, living the life of prayer and worship in the community of the Church – living compassionate, just, virtuous lives – like Katelyn (an alumna of this school) and her husband, Rob, who were married at Saint Matthew’s Church in Virginia Beach this weekend. They are eager to raise up a new family for Christ! Pray for them, and for ourselves, that we would know our own vocation – that to which God calls us.
in whom we live and move and have our being,
you have made us for yourself,
so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you;
grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose,
that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,
no weakness from doing it;
but that in your light we may see light clearly,
and in your service find our perfect freedom! Amen!
Prayer of Saint Augustine