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"How Much More"

I'm currently engaged in the onerous, humbling, instructive task of reading applications for Boston College's doctoral program in systematic theology. Onerous because all is done on-line and sifting through countless links to documents that number many pages is taxing on aging eyes and limbs. Humbling because of the evident gifts and commitment of those applying who are far more than names and numbers, but aspiring and generous fellows in the exhilarating enterprise of faith seeking understanding. Instructive because in their twenty page writing samples there is an abundance of knowledge and wisdom from which one derives great profit.As in a paper on the early Church father, Origen, which closes with a quote that I found moving and which I would share with others, thus widening the circle beyond the applicant/reader.This from Origen's Homilies on Leviticus:

If the delight does not seem to be complete for you who are a member, if another member is missing, how much more does our Lord and Savior, who is the head and originator of the whole body, consider his delight to be incomplete as long as he sees one of the members to be missing from his body.And for this reason, perhaps, he poured out this prayer to the Father: "Holy Father, glorify me with that glory that I had with you before the world began." Thus he does not want to receive his complete glory without us, that is, without his people who are his body and his members.

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Bob, I'd ask them what they thought of Avatar. It'd be interesting to know.

Father, this citation is beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to post it.And thanks for the care you will take to read all of these applications. Where would WE be if someone had not cared when we were beginning our doctoral studies.Blessings from California.

All these applications is a relatively recent phenomenon due to the increased number of non-clergy who are studying theology, is it not? What has been and continue to be the effect of this phenomenon? A mere forty years ago there were hardly any "lay" persons studying theology.

An ametuer theologian myself, I have to agree with Bill. Keep using those eyes and limbs father.

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About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is an associate professor of theology at Boston College.