College Chaplain Report – July 30, 2015

July 29, 2015

The Old Becomes New

As chaplain I’m regularly bombarded with enthusiastic questions from the students. Their points of interest and way of seeing things can be really surprising (and it must be said at times somewhat amusing); I’m certainly always kept on my toes.

Right at the heart of the joy of youth is the excitement of seeing everything for the first time. For parents and teachers who are able to share in that great adventure of learning, what may have grown stale is seen anew through the eyes of the young. We are able to see things afresh and our sense of wonder and curiosity is reawakened.

With the passing of time it is so easy for us to become indifferent towards so many things. It is not so much that we reject them but that they are set aside and ignored. This setting aside is not so much a conscious decision arrived at after much thought and reflection, rather the thing simply seems to grow stale to us, its superficial repetition leads to boredom and we simply drift away. Thankfully, through the eyes of youth, what may have become indifferent to us is fresh and exciting again. By sharing in their vision our eyes are opened once more.

I hope we all share something of this experience in regards to our Catholic faith. The children in our schools are hearing for the first time what we have perhaps heard a thousand times. Suddenly, through their eyes, God’s presence is something tangible again, his love something alive and active.

Perhaps our Lord was thinking along these lines when he told us we must become like little children in order to inherit the Kingdom; to be small enough, young enough, to see things with eyes that are full of wonder and awe. As adults though, we must recognise that our experience is different to that of the young. We have seen more and think at a different level. And so, while it is a great thing to be caught up in their excitement we also have to enquire for ourselves. They are excited because they are enquiring. If we are to hold on to the wonder that has again taken life in us we must actively join them in their enthusiastic search for truth. In other words, we have to think.

In this spirit of enquiry I am hoping to offer an opportunity to turn once more to the basic tenets of our faith by reflecting on our Creed over the next few weeks. By reflecting we can grow in understanding, and by understanding we can come to appreciate more deeply this faith which has fed and nourished so many generations before us. Let us then examine anew what has been so generously handed down to us.