September 6, 2010

A Dream for the First Day of School

So I wake up on Labor Day, the last day before the real first day of school. (The days of so-called orientation don't count.) I am anxious, for sure, but I also had an encouraging dream.

I am anxious because I am not confident that I can manage the doctoral program. I learned well certain school-going habits as a small child that will have to be unlearned if I'm going to make it to the STD. These were a matter of survival at the time, and so I don't have any grudge against myself about them, but like many survival strategies we learn along the way, they have become maladaptive in later circumstances.

In the midst of this worry I've been having some rich dreams, full of people and places and teachers and schools from the past. As I was praying through some of it this morning, one moment seemed particularly revealing. I was with one of the professors whose disciple I hope to become this year. He had a son with him, maybe four or five years old. The child was babbling like an infant, full of syllables and seeming just on the edge of true speech. "He can almost talk," I said to the professor. It was the joy of the dream to announce it.

In my prayer I realized that the kid was probably me. By the discernment of the friars and the generosity of our benefactors, the transformation to speech is offered to me. If I can overcome what keeps me from working as hard as I can and if I can make myself a fruitful disciple of my professors, perhaps I can become a bearer of coherent theological speech, a doctor.


4narnia said...

hi Fr. C! don't get discouraged! you will do fine. just stay focused and know that the Holy Spirit is with you to guide you along the way. and, you certainly will have my prayers for you each and every day!
~tara t~

Brother Charles said...

Thank you!

Lee Gilbert said...

"If ..., perhaps I can become a bearer of coherent theological speech, a doctor."

Have I got the prayer for you, from the Angelic Doctor:

"O creator past all telling, you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom the hierarchies of angels, disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens, and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe. You we call the true fount of wisdom and the noble origin of all things. Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born, the twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin.

"You make eloquent the tongues of children. Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember; make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak. Guide my going in and going forward, lead home my going forth. You are true God and true man, and live for ever and ever. Amen"

Undoubtedly you've seen this before, but I thought you might appreciate it especially in this moment.

Greg said...

My prayers go with you as well...

The Holy Spirit has clearly guided you to this course... we are in great need of your Franciscan heart in the world of theology.

At this moment in time, more than ever, we need a guide who can emerge from the cave on LaVerna, like Francis and Bonaventure, to bring us hope and reason infused theology.

You will excel...