At its core, Borromeo Academy has something crucial in common with Advent. Both are about being urgent and being patient at the same time. Mary, the young virgin of Nazareth, is the primary biblical character of the Advent Season and primary example for us in our quest to bring Christ into our world today. She, above all, seems to possesses a grace that balances exterior chaos with interior peace. She patiently makes haste. Teachers in classical liberal arts education, the model used at Borromeo, guide scholars in an urgent manner while patiently taking paths that they do not always foresee.
The story of Christ’s coming is similar. It weaves urgency, patience, and unforeseen routes. Mary goes in haste to the hill country of Judea to be with her cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s baby leaps in her womb in the presence of the unborn savior and, even into adulthood, proclaims His emergent presence with great passion and purpose. Joseph and Mary, with similar determination, hurry to Bethlehem and then narrowly escape the pursuit of King Herod’s army as they hastily flee to Egypt before returning home to guide their son as He grows in age and understanding. Through it all, they trust God’s plan. The range of Mary’s emotion, from fear and disbelief to acceptance and assent to God’s will, can help us discover personal patience amidst societal chaos and the busyness of the holiday season.
At the top of every adult’s Christmas Wish List should probably be the balance between external busyness and internal peace that Our Lady possessed and perfected. Borromeo Academy operates out of that same urgency by bringing Christ into our surroundings as scholars gain knowledge, wisdom, and holiness, while, at the same time, intently experiencing beauty, truth, and goodness each step along the journey. Teachers, like trail guides, navigate through academic material while being mindful of their student’s interests, and they willingly reroute lessons based on how subject matter gets received, explored, and processed. There is an urgency to gain knowledge and wisdom just as there was a clear desire for the Holy Family to get to Nazareth; and like them, teachers are patient with following a higher will, much as The Magi followed a star and Blessed Mother Mary and Joseph followed the will of God, revealed to them by a divine messenger.
So it is with life. Though we don’t fully comprehend its meaning, or our purpose, we gain hints from numerous spiritual encounters along our journey. They remind us to act with urgent determination toward our singular destination: heaven. At the same time, we must do as Max Ehrmann’s poem, Desiderata, instructs: “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.” There is so much beauty and goodness along our path; we are here to notice it, soak it in, and enjoy its wonder. And we are to be attuned to what Sacred Scripture calls “the still, small voice within us”; we will recognize it as the voice of God orienting us to His message and His truth—intended for us alone. Mary understood this as well as any human being could. Let’s welcome her as our model and companion as we also find our way to Bethlehem once again.
Thank you to all who helped with or participated in our Borromeo Academy Prayer Luncheon on Friday. We raised nearly $130,000 to provide scholarships for children from underprivileged families!