Sunday, April 22, 2007
I don't know how it happened, but apparently the Holy Father got a look at my most recent paper. I didn't realize he had to review our work. Do you see it? There it is, right in his hand, double spaced, margins 1 inch from the top, bottom, and sides. All to spec. And he's holding it up as an example.
What he's really saying, is, "Where did she get THAT out of Salvifici Doloris?
Holy Father, I'll try to do better next time.
In all seriousness, I actually have good news, and thanks to those of you who have been praying for me. I got a 96 on our first assignment, and a 92 on my paper on Suffering and Redemption. I'm pleased. An "A" and an "A-" in my first real theology class, grad level especially? YEAH!
But it didn't come without a price.
And this is where I begin my pontifications. Are you really surprised?
This class has been absolutely a Godsend. The classroom sessions have been quite illuminating, the reading has continued the illumination, and I wish I had obtained this knowledge long ago. I wish everyone could be a part of this.
The program boasts of personal formation as a part of the program, and I actually figured that to be somewhat of a "selling" point, and so it is, but I can verify the truth of the statement; I did not realize the true formative capacity of these teachings.
They do not necessarily come from the professor, although Professor Douglas Bushman was stellar in his instruction. The formative capacity does not come entirely from the writings of John Paul II, although I had several moments of complete understanding thanks to him.
The formation comes from the Holy Spirit, resulting from the classroom instruction, the material, AND the openness of the subject to the workings of the Holy Spirit himself.
I can see how someone could attend the classes, learn some things, read some stuff, and answer the questions, making the entire process boring and mechanical, and thus be unaffected. We have to be open to the Holy Spirit.
I have actually found that the Holy Spirit was better able to reach me through these lessons by virtue of my own fiat in attending the class. I did not know what to expect, I do not have an undergrad theology degree, and my only hope was that I was not in over my head. Not only did God answer, but God SURROUNDED me in this endeavor and he has changed me forever through the knowledge obtained. In other words, God reached me through my weakness and brought out the strength which I can only attest to Him, not to me.
I highly recommend this program at Ave Maria University. For those who are "local" (Minneapolis, MN, Green Bay, WI), you still have time to apply for next semester. Please consider doing so. Everything is due by May 15.
Learn more by visiting the website for AMU's Institute for Pastoral Theology.