Much time has passed since I last posted anything on this blog. My apologies, but I was fully consumed with my studies at Christendom College. A brief review of my time there is in order. I graduated in May of this year with a BA in History while at the same time earning my MA in Theological Studies with a concentration in Catechesis and Evangelization from the Norte Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. I was allowed to complete the two degrees concurrently, so as you can imagine I was very busy with academic work during my time in Virginia. At first, the rigor of the academic program at Christendom was overwhelming. In all honesty, I did not know if I could keep up; at times I felt like I was sinking. Through it all, the sheer grit that I know is part of my character became aparent. There was no way I would give up. This is not just about the degree…it is a calling from God and I was going to see it through.
Then, something miraculous happened. As the first school year progressed, I noticed it was becoming easier. My professors had now trained me to pick up a work of Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas and be able to really read it. I started to understand that the intellect is like a muscle and the more you work it, the better it functions. The intellectual virtues began to manifest in me as time went on. Then, two years in to the program, all my classes started to converge on one another. I can’t explain what a beautiful experience this was. The rich patrimony of Western Civilization, flowing from the great classic literature, philosophy, history and a profound theological tradition all started to come together to form one cohesive whole like a glittering mosaic on the ceiling of a cathedral, meant to stir the soul to the contemplation of higher things. What an incredible gift this education has been to me. I am not the same person as I was when I started at Christendom three years ago.
Now I am continuing my education in Washington DC with the Dominicans at their House of Studies. Given that I am pursuing the ecclesiastical degree (Bachelor of Sacred Theology), I am one of the few lay students in many of my classes. Most of my other classmates are Dominican Brothers in training to become priests. I am grateful for their maturity even though their average age is quite young compared to myself. It takes a special kind of young man to make a commitment like the one they have. I so admire their dedication to Christ and the Church. This semester I am taking five classes, mostly philosophy as she is the handmaid of theology and will prepare me for the classes that will come later. Ultimately, I will complete the terminal ecclesiastical degree of Sacred Theology Doctorate with a concentration in Moral Theology. I hope to teach in the seminary or wherever the Church has need of me.
Living in the city has brought other blessings to me as well. I made a connection with the Missionaries of Charity who have a home for the elderly here in the city and I volunteer with them three days a week after school. I answer the door and help the women with their dinner when the time comes. The home was founded by Mother Teresa herself and in the front by where I sit there are many relics of hers in glass cases. I often can hear the sisters singing in the chapel which is close to the front door. Sometimes when I walk by, I can see them kneeling on the floor in front of Jesus exposed for adoration. Every day, the sisters call all the residents together and they have a holy hour before the Lord. Witnessing the great hidden faith of these people, so poor in spirit and often in health, has moved me deeply. I’ve often thought perhaps God would allow their witness to bring me deeper into relationship with Himself as I study and pray along the spiritual path of life.
Judah continues to do very well in school and in general. He has really grown into my best little buddy. He is so kind, affectionate and funny. The older he gets the better our relationship becomes. We are so close to each other and with each passing day I love him more and more. Our priest here in DC has agreed to allow me to prepare him for his First Holy Communion which will take place next May. This will be a most joyous day.
As I settle into my studies and a new city, I hope there will be much more to recount here on the blog. I am looking forward to what God has in store and I am prepared to do the work needed to run this race He has set before. I pray for a docile spirit as He brings to completion the good work He has begun, educating both my mind and my heart.
Thank you for reading and may God bless you!