Message from the Head Master On the Celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit
Reflection by Head Master, Olen Kalkus, on the celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit which opens the academic year
Reflection by Head Master, Olen Kalkus, on the celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit which opens the academic year:
Good morning. As we conclude our opening Mass of the Holy Spirit, I pray that the Holy Spirit inspires us to experience Silence and Wonder, the words that I have asked us to focus on this year.
As I expressed to you in your opening assemblies, I am not speaking of the kind of silence that is a fear of speaking up, rather the kind of silence that allows us to hear everything, everything important. The silence which is “not the absence of something, but rather the presence of everything.” Silence allows us to hear the Great Song of the Universe, God’s Song, the song without borders.
Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ once wrote, “Without silence [there is] no purity of heart, no real devotion to the Holy Spirit, no real teaching from God who cannot make His still, small voice heard in the talkative soul.” If we learn to cultivate silence, not as an absence of sound, but as the habit that allows our minds’ eyes to open to the wisdom and wonder of all that we otherwise mask with noise, we can understand Mother Stuart’s words. Mother Teresa of Calcutta shared Mother Stuart’s belief in silence as the language of the soul. She said, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
This brings me to the other focus word for this year - Wonder. It is my sincere hope that cultivating silence will bring you moments of wonder, wonder at the beauty that surrounds us, wonder that leads to questions such as why does music exist. What makes words written in a certain way powerful or beautiful? What does it mean that Space is a fabric?
Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon said, “Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.” We may not always end up understanding, but one of the greatest scientists of modern times, Albert Einstein, understood that experiencing wonder is beautiful in and of itself. He said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”
It is my sincere wish you all have a year of many moments of powerful beautiful silence. May you hear “God’s great song of the universe” and experience many moments of wonder.