Summary: From the gifts you have been given, and with spiritual counsel, you can discern your life’s vocation.

September 16, 2008

Cornelius and Cyprian, Martyrs

1 Cor 12: 12-14 & 27-31

One body with many members, each with special gifts to share. That is the meaning of the Church for St. Paul, who first experienced the unity of Jesus and the Church on the Damascus road. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me,” said the vision. “Huh,” he thought, “I’m going after these nasty followers of Jesus, not you, my God.” And then it struck him: the one God is Jesus, and Jesus’s body on earth is this rabble of Christians. Those of us who have been shocked by God’s Truth at some point in our lives often realize that what we have been doing in good faith and, we thought, to honor God was in fact just the opposite of what God wants. And, I hasten to add, we often spend the rest of our lives, by the grace of God, trying to fix what we have messed up in our youth.

That’s why I encourage each of you, no matter what your age, to pray the Lord’s prayer several times a day: the kingdom will not come without the Lord’s will being done. We can’t force the coming of the kingdom by our own effort. We can’t know God’s will without the gift of discernment. So I also think that the advice of the great teachers of the Church to find a good spiritual director is good advice for everyone, particularly the young. Many of our students are called to leadership in the Church–lay and clerical. We know many respond, and several of our community members are discerning full-time ministry in the clerical or religious state. Some, as Paul says, will be teachers. To teach as Jesus did means to teach whatever subject with God’s glory in mind, and with God’s will foremost. We teach evolutionary theory here as a way to explain both the unity and diversity of the biological universe. But we also teach the critique of blind, random evolution, and we share with our students the sheer wonder of creation, and the clear testimony to the providence and design of God that we see in biology and chemistry and physics. It is impossible today to carve out a discipline and say that it is unrelated to theology and morality; it is sheer folly to make the common mistake that science, or politics, or history, or even art and music, can be studied without reference to faith, and specifically to Christian belief. We are a strong school because we acknowledge that our faith permeates our whole life.

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