Due to the coronavirus phenomenon, our graduation at IHM School did not happen as originally scheduled. Last month, we had a small ceremony with our graduates and their families. Of the speeches given that day, mine was the shortest. The keynote speaker and valedictorian appropriately gave longer presentations.
WHEN Saint John began His Gospel with those five inspired words — Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος — in principio erat Verbum — “in the beginning was the Word” — two worlds met: the Jewish world of revealed religion going back to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses; and the Gentile world of Greek philosophy, or ordered natural wisdom.
That word, Logos, had a long pedigree in the Greek world. For roughly six hundred years before Our Lord, Greek natural wisdom refined it so that it came to mean a whole host of different things: word, utterance, thought, reason, rationality, and even the very principle of order in the universe. The Greeks using their minds well could see that there is order in the universe. In fact, their word for universe, Kosmos, means “ordered thing.”
Saint John told the Greek world, which has been well prepared by this tradition of natural wisdom, that the principle of Order in the universe is none other than the Second Person of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. All things were made by him and without him was made nothing that was made. The world is intelligible to us because it was created by an intellect. Rationality is built into it, therefore, it can be rationally understood. Saint John goes on to narrate in the rest of his Gospel how the Incarnate Logos through whom all things were made is also the redeeming Logos, through whom all the blessed are saved.
Just as the entire universe was created through the Word, all the elect are saved through the Word. You can spend a lifetime meditating on that.
These lofty, elevated and contemplative truths have immediate and practical implications for your everyday life, dear graduates. We live in a time when…
a.) Scientism prevails in academe. Evolutionism tells us that the vast chaos that stands between nothing and something was crossed over without God when all that we see “just happened.” Further, this same prevailing pseudoscience tells us that life came to be through non-living things. How silly! How irrational.
b.) Physicists tell us with a straight face that there are millions of parallel universes that are all copies of this one. They tell us that the math works and their computer modeling is very reliable.
c.) The Marxist agitants of BLM and Antifa are telling us that our entire patrimony of Western and Christian culture is systematically racist.
d.) LGBTQ activists are telling us that in addition to the male and female sexes, there are some sixty other “genders” to choose from.
In all these instances, the entertainment industry, the mainstream media, the Big Tech firms that control social media, and many who grasp the levers of power in government are on the side of the enemy — our enemies, who are the enemies of Logos.
This situation must not lead us to despair or even discouragement.
Remember that the great Catholic synthesis of faith and reason — including the moral law — gives us the answers not only to life’s deep existential questions like why I am here and what happens when I die, but also life’s practical questions. This is because, as beings endowed with reason and elevated by grace, we are to live according to Logos — whether it be to apply simple common sense to life’s quotidian decisions, or to face our most difficult challenges. In the intellect, Logos is truth, common sense, the intelligibility of the world around you. For the will, it is a sure guide to right action. It is the moral law.
If you live according to Logos, you will not be ruled by your passions, but by faith and reason. You will not, as many do, be a slave to fear, a servant of lust, or a useful idiot of the oligarchs who seek to rule the world and who hate Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.
Never forget that, as the repository of Logos, the Church has, in her perennial wisdom, exactly what you need to face the mental and moral challenges that will beset you throughout life. Order that life according to Logos. Nourish your soul daily on Logos by prayer, by reading, and by doing what you hopefully learned to do better at IHM School: THINKING! Make your souls, your homes, and your families little islands of divine order amid the chaos. Let every day be another chance for God’s grace to make Logos triumph in you over error and over evil — so that, when you come to the Eternal Commencement, you will be able to see the Logos as He is with the Father and the Holy Ghost face to adorable Face.