Gaudio sicut gladiis semper in altum!
Our motto draws on three specific sources: The Gospel of Saint Luke, C. S. Lewis' The Last Battle, and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
In St. Luke's Gospel we read:
“Duc in altum et laxate retia vestra in capturam” – “Cast out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch” (5:4).
These are Christ's words addressed to Simon Peter. He is instructed to "lead" out into the deep, and then all are instructed to let down their nets. This has implications for the role of Peter as the first leader of the Church and for the call for all to aid in the work of evangelization.
For our students, it is this evangelical challenge, but it is also the call to be fearless in their pursuit of truth and goodness. We are to seek the depths of things, the foundations, the grounding in the first principle that stands behind all realities. Settle not for the superficial, the mediocre, or the luke warm.
The words "in altum" in Latin mean both "into the deep" and "into the heights." This dual meaning allowed us to include an idea expressed in C. S. Lewis' "The Last Battle." In the new Narnia, Aslan commands those gathered at the door to "Come further in! Come further up!"
The citizens of the heavenly Narnia slowly come to understand where they are and what Aslan means, until it is joyfully expressed by Jewel, the Unicorn:
"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"
For our students, our hope is that they come to see how each thing we learn, through its own particular genius, contains some inkling of God's own being, some whisper of the redeemed glory of our future lives. We wish them to see growth in virtue, wisdom, and holiness as a beginning of their ascent into God. All that is invites us further up and further into the blessed future promised us in Christ.
In the third part of "The Lord of the Rings," titled "The Return of the King," not long after Frodo and Sam have finished their quest to destroy the Ring of Power, Aragorn and the company gather to honor them. A minstrel of Gondor begs leave to sing and announces that he will sing of "Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom." The passage reads:
"And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for sheer delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept."
"And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."