When Leonine, the older sister of Thérèse, turned 12 years old, she decided she no longer needed her doll-dress-making kit. So she offered the kit and all of its contents to her two younger sisters: Celine, who was six, and Thérèse, who was two. Leonine told them to choose carefully what from the kit they wanted. Celine picked out one colorful ball of yarn. Thérèse very candidly said, "I choose all!"
From a very young age, Thérèse had a hungry spirit. She would not settle for only part of a blessing. Later in life she wrote, "My God, I choose all. I do not want to be a saint by halves." Nothing but the fullness of life and the fullness of God would satisfy her.
That is what we desire for our children. At Nativity of Mary we strive to form not just the minds and bodies of the children, but their hearts and souls too. That's what it means to be fully human. We choose all!
Catholicism has been called the religion of "the great ‘Et Et.’" "Et Et" is Latin for "both/and."
We profess that Jesus is both human and divine. God is three and one. God is far beyond us (transcendent) and very close (immanent). Mary bore a son and remained a virgin. We profess not faith alone but faith and works. God reveals Himself to us through Scripture and Tradition. We never isolate one part of the truth from the whole. We don't compromise when it comes to our faith in God. We choose all!
That's the spirit that animates Catholic education too. We teach the child to synthesize academics, arts, sports, and faith. They grow best through study, service, and prayer. They are citizens of this world and of heaven. The children and beautiful and good and yet sinners. We must demand much of the children and always show them mercy.
Finally, our schools are most blessed when we serve the rich and the poor – and everybody in between. Nobody who desires a Catholic education for their child should ever be denied.
God doesn't want us ever to compromise. In His extreme bounty we can choose all and, by the miracle of God, it becomes synthesized – brought together into something glorious. Let's raise up saints by sharing with the children nothing but all – the fullness of life and the fullness of God's love.
Blessed Catholic Schools Week!