Thomas Aquinas’s prayer for students!

This week is the second of three reading weeks given to seminarians at Yale. The idea is to have time to catch up on reading, work on papers, and so on. That sounds like a lot of free time, but it hasn’t really worked out that way.

The first one in October was a bust because two of my professors assigned double the reading for the following week, and I went to Seattle to see my daughter on Parents’ weekend, so I didn’t do any catching up. This second one is only really half of a reading week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. We get another week between the end of classes and finals week. Unfortunately, all the big papers are due BEFORE that reading week.

So… there isn’t really much chance to rest or to catch up during any reading weeks. My only hope is to get one of the papers done early so that I can totally focus on the final, 25-page paper for Schleiermacher.

One has to make choices like this all the time at seminary (keeping in mind the many worship and service opportunities every day, too). People say it’s great training for the priesthood, in which one has to juggle many priorities. One could say that it enhances one’s sense of needing prayer… and salvation…

A friend handed me this prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas. She got it from Miroslav Volf in his Systematic Theology class before a final exam:

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, lofty origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your brilliance penetrate into the darkness of my understanding and take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of both sin and ignorance. Give me a sharp sense of understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations, and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in completion; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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