Chaplain’s Conference: “That in All Things God May Be Glorified” – On Integrity

Chaplain’s Conference
Sacred Heart School – High School
September 4, 2019 

ES Commons window

That in all things, God may be glorified.

This phrase in the new window in the elementary commons is fitting for a school founded upon the Benedictine heritage. The Rule of St. Benedict was written to govern the life of a community so that in all things God may be glorified.

A little bit about St. Benedict:

  • 480-547 – Italy. The Great Roman Empire was disintegrating.
  • Benedict left his home in Nursia, Umbria to attend school in Rome.
  • Disgusted with the paganism he saw there, so he renounced the world to live in a cave in Subiaco where he devote his life to the pursuit of God.
  • The people of the are noticed him, and some monks asked him to be their abbot – their father who would show them how to live.
  • Benedict: “you don’t want me to be your abbot” – they insisted. Benedict accepted their offer with reluctance.
  • Monks tried to poison him – sign of Cross over chalice and it broke.
  • Benedict left this settlement and founded a monastery in Monte Cassino, south of Rome. It was here that he wrote his rule for community life – a rule that would allow a community to pursue holiness and to become saints who would glorify God by their lives.
  • The Rule of St. Benedict has stood the test of time, used by Benedictine communities for over 1500 years. The Sisters of Mount Saint Benedict in Crookston, who started our school, order their community life by the Rule of St. Benedict. And it is from the Rule of St. Benedict that we draw the Benedictine values that we wish to instill in our students.

The Rule of St. Benedict was written to govern a community’s life, so that in all things, God may be glorified.

So, too, this school exists so that in all things, God may be glorified.

It was St. Irenaeus who said that the glory of God is man fully alive.

Sacred Heart School exists to form students in body, mind, and soul – to form saints for the Kingdom who live fully and love deeply.

This school exists to form students who are fully alive, so that in all things, God may be glorified.

This is the Eagle Way.

We focus on our Benedictine Values in all that we do. How will we know if we are accomplishing our mission? We look at our students. We look at you.

What does a Sacred Heart Graduate look like?

Who will you be when you leave this building on the day of your graduation?

Our hope is that you will embody,
you will enflesh,
the Benedictine Values.

I was formed at a Benedictine Seminary in southern Indiana. The name of the seminary is St. Meinrad. St. Meinrad was a Benedictine monk who lived in the 800s. The Benedictine Values were and are alive at St. Meinrad. The priests who formed us would often remark that people should be able to look at a priest who was formed at St. Meinrad and say “He’s a Meinrad man” and name the Benedictine values that they see in him. He’s a man of hospitality and community, he’s a man of integrity, a man who listens, a man of obedience, discipline, and humility.

So too for you. People should be able to look at you and say, “Oh, she graduated from Sacred Heart.”

That does not mean that we are all the same. We all have different gifts and talents. We have differing likes, dislikes, and interests.

But we all have the same God in whose image we are made, and we all have the same high calling – to live like the one in whose image we are made.

That in all things, God may be glorified. This is why we exist.

The Glory of God is man fully alive.

This is what we desire for you.

Do you desire it for yourself?

Do you desire to glorify God in everything you do?

A key question that I would encourage you to ask yourself often this year:
Does this bring glory to God?
Or does this bring glory to myself?

That in all things, God may be Glorified.

In all things. Not only in some things. In every aspect of my life.

One of our Benedictine values is Integrity.

  • Integrity, Integration. All Things. Whole.
  • Opposite: Disintegration. Compartmentalization.
  • We are all about forming the whole person – body, mind, and soul. Not forming a disintegrated, compartmentalized person.

A compartmentalized person is a person whose life exists in separate boxes. I change who I am based on who I am with. I act this way with one group and that way with another. This part of my life is about God; that part of my life is not about God. Who I am in public is different than who I am in private.

That leads to disintegration and a lack of integrity. No one knows who I really am because I don’t know who I am.

I wonder how many of us put on the mask of a “good kid who goes to Christian school” for some people but live unrepentant lives of sin while with other people?

An integrated person is a transparent person. What you see is what you get. Who I am in private is who I am in public. There is no duplicity or two-facedness in me.

Do you put on masks, a poker face, a game face, that isn’t the real you?

If so, what’s behind that? Why do you do that?

Because you want to be accepted?

If you have to be someone else in order to be accepted, then the person being accepted is imaginary and not the real you. Who wants an imaginary friend? I’d rather have a real friend, and I know that deep down, so do you.

Where do you compartmentalize? Where is there disintegration in your life?

Where are you compromising on living the Benedictine values? Where do you cut corners and make excuses in your discipleship? Here, I am not talking about struggle.  Holiness comes through the struggle.  Integration comes through my willingness to struggle and to be better, with God’s grace. I am talking about being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am talking about knowingly cutting corners and making excuses for sin in my life with no desire to change, no effort to repent, and no action to change the way I’m living.

Are you willing to face these areas, to address them, to name them and confess them so that Christ can shine his light on them?

Integration is the work of growing up. For that to happen, I have to be aware of where I compartmentalize my life and be willing to ask myself or another person “why I do that”? A person striving for integration recognizes where he/she is not integrated and strives to work on it, with God’s grace.

Here I would like to highlight the power of Confession and Spiritual Direction. Every Wednesday over your lunch period, a priest will be in the high school chapel upstairs. The chapel is across from the art room. If you want to work on becoming a man or woman of integrity, take advantage of this time. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. Integration happens when I speak to another person about my struggles. Being able to hear what God may have to say to you will be quite helpful. Try it. Some students pop in every week just to check in.

Integration comes through community life – a community that loves me enough to challenge me when I need to be challenged, a community that puts up with my shenanigans even while it calls me to grow up and to move beyond my shenanigans.

Are you willing to be challenged, not just academically, but in your moral life as well?

You are in a great environment for this to happen.

Sacred Heart School exists to form you in body, mind, and soul.

Mr. Karas, Miss Wilson, your teachers, the priests – all of us are here for you to help you to become who God created you to be – a person who loves deeply and is fully alive.

The glory of God is man fully alive. Sacred Heart School exists so that in all things, God may be glorified.

This is the Eagle Way.

Take advantage of what is offered to you here, and God will indeed be glorified…in you.


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