Today I received an email from Sr. Bernadette who was reminiscing about her summer school experience up here at Saint John’s some years back. Sr. Mary has studied up here, too, and other Sisters have degrees from other places…some from Catholic U, some from Notre Dame, some from Dayton, as well as other schools, generally following our usual community dictum when it comes to working on a degree: “go Catholic and go north.”
Over the past week, as I’ve tried to wrap my mind around the writings of various theologians, I’ve known that I’m in good company not only with my fellow students here but also with the Sisters in my community who have studied along the way.
But no matter how important and beneficial the formation of my mind may be, it is of no real account if it is not accompanied by education of the heart, and in this I am in good company, too. Sr. Bernadette, a saint if I’ve ever met one in her care of our infirm Sisters, wrote today of not only of the courses that she took but also of the loons and the deer and the time spent alone in her room.
I, too, have a quiet room, and in addition to long hours of study I am also spending time
in prayer and taking leisurely walks in which I listen to the cry of loons and exchange glances with deer as we size one another up along the edge of the woods.
So even as I seek to understand the classroom thoughts of saints such Augustine and Aquinas, I also join them in the classroom of silence, seeking above all the education of my heart.