Academic vs. Spiritual

Well yesterday we where challenged by three excellent opportunities to test our academic abilities and to delve into this book called the bible. First was Bible and Psychology, second was Bible and Education and then we had three different passage themes, (prophets, psalms and wisdom literature) partnered with their respective commetaries to read and report back in plennary style. All challenging in the way the professors are doctoral graduates and strong biblical scholars all in their own field.

The buzz in the evening around the table was from all corners of the world, and we asked "How did today's teaching resonate with us from a parish/church perspective?" How do we relate to those in the pews? Such a wonderful session at the pub over wine, beer and lots of laughter. Worldly chat included comments on Obama and Sarah Palin (because the world knows both very well), Jacko and how we all relate in our own ways to the people in the pews or better yet not in our pews in day-to-day encounters. Encountering the other is a given. The great thinker, Gabriel Marcel, brings to light the need for relationship and a fear of isolation which can inhibit and styfle us. To be alone is to share time with God but it is through relationship with other human beings that we enrich and grow our spirit. I have realized more than anything on this trip that a glass of wine, good conversation and encountering the other is God's gift to the spirit.

The time is creeping along and today is a visit to a very large library in Oxford. I am cherishing every day here in the UK and am hungry to spend more time with my student companions realizing this time together will be fleeing and will come to a close all too soon. They are all great people and will have enriched my life in ways I cannot understand yet but in time God will show me how.

God's presence in our lives is sometimes subtle and sometimes earth shaking .... the common thread is God is always present. Blessings to all and keep the faith.

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