After moving right along at Christendom, I think I have adjusted to the persistent state of wonder that I've been in. Sometimes I cannot even believe that I am sitting in the classrooms and learning from the faculty. The degree of excellence in the professors is not something I have ever experienced before. I have never been in such an environment as this, where the integrity of everyone involved permeates every single aspect of activity on campus. The faithfulness of the people I have the privilege to learn from and be helped by, is the most humbling experience of my life. The young people I go to school with are unlike any young people I have ever met. They are of a certain excellence as well that I have not known before.
I was surprised to find out that I absolutely LOVE studying philosophy! Right now we are learning about Aristotle and the "four causes." The last thing we learned was arguments for the immortality of the soul from Socrates' dialogue, the Phaedo. My absolute favorite though has been our dear Boethius and his Consolation of Philosophy. I recommend that if you have not read it, do! it is truly a beautiful work that, at times, has me in tears reading it.
How wonderful it is to know how rich the intellectual life is! It has been so enriching and also challenging. The fact that it has been challenging is what makes it so much fun! At this school, there are no multiple-choice only tests. We have to write essay responses on exams, which is a sure way to verify that we know the material! In theology, we have been reading the Summa of Saint Thomas, which I have found to be so beautiful and exciting to read. At this point in the semester, we are discussing Christology and Soteriology (the study of salvation). Before every class, we all stand at our desks and pray. We pray either the Hail Mary or the Our Father followed by a prayer to a certain favorite saint of the professor or the saint who's feast day we celebrate. As a class, we make the sign of the cross and ask God to help enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills. What a gift all my classmates have been to me!
As we come up on All Saints day, classes are canceled and the whole school volunteers for various "Day of Service" activities. I volunteered to clean around and beautify the grave of Christendom's founder, Dr. Warren Carroll. He is buried on site at the college, overlooking the Shenandoah river. I can imagine him smiling down on us as we struggle with difficult material and later, light up with the satisfaction felt after truth permeates the mind of the pupil. Dr. Carroll famously said that "One man can make a difference!".....and he certainly has for so many. I am forever grateful to him and all the founders of this excellent center of higher learning.
The college is sharing my story with their donors and has printed my conversion from this blog. My prayer is that it helps to highlight how very important this college is to the mission of Christ and His Church. Christendom is the ONLY accredited Catholic college in the United States that does not accept any federal funding. Christendom is free to teach the truth to us through our exceptional professors. The government does not interfere here! This is the only place, in my humble opinion, where I can totally relax and know that whatever my professors are teaching me, that it is the truth!
Now I truly know that there is no other place like this one! What an incredible experience it has been so far and I look forward to the years to come. This college is not only forming my mind, but forming my soul.
I was telling my mom the other day that when I see the steeple of Christ the King Chapel, come into my line of sight while driving to the school, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace. After I pull in, and my feet hit the pavement, the sense of completeness is all consuming for me. For the first time in my life, I really feel that this is where I belong.
May the Good Lord continue to help me in the spiritual life and the communion of saints guide my intellect as I run the race set before me.
God bless you all!