Coming to the end of our first year of university life, we feel it is right to take some time to take stock of ourselves. Before that, it is a noble cause to take stock of what on earth 'take stock' means, and now we've come to it what the semantic meaning of 'on earth' in that context is. Also, is it wrong to end a sentence in is? We had assumed taking stock referred to savouring the juices of cooked meat in order to make a soup, thus giving rise to a meaning along the lines of 'extracting the core essence' or even 'waste not, want not'. Our delusions present a rather heightened sense to the endeavour, where the effect of our taking stock is a resourcement and a finding of oneself (whatever that means). Apparently, taking stock is a not-so-cryptic-once-it-is-pointed-out allusion to stocktaking; rather more functional! The 'on earth' serves very little purpose it seems since the sentence would mean pretty much precisely (is it pretty much or is it precisely?) the same without that phase, as the sentence does as it stands (not that sentences literally stand, of course, this is a metaphorical standing, I'm sure, to do with commanding respect and authority - perhaps you ought to have been better off saluted all of our sentences which do stand). "To do with"? It's those short and common words that are most confusing when one tries to explain what they mean separately and alongside those words surrounding them.
This web-log has already chronicled some changes affecting our outlook on life at various points therefore, here we shall simply restate facts and thoughts by in a quasi-spiritualized reflective tone to make you feely-goody readers feel all good inside.
We dare to call out what appears to be an emerging passion within ourselves for language. There is a beauty to the word, particularly the written word, which has the power to communicate something of love and life between individuals. Certainly the Word of God deserves distinct recognition since he gives meaning to existence and communicates the fullness of love who is God himself. But, increasing we desire to see beauty in the language and the great gift it is to our existence. It is a dangerous thing when writing to too highly acclaim good writing, lest the scrutinous reader take exception to the implicit claim that the shoddy workmanship of language presented is to be received as 'good writing'. In our defence, someone is reading this which is a fundamental start to being any good.
Studying Biblical Hebrew was surprisingly refreshing. At least there is a certainty, at my level of study, that one either is right or wrong. Contrasted with an essay question, a translation question requires a straightforward answer after which the student knows where he fell short of a better score.
In spite of the assurance that the introductory outline of the language gave, we found that the study of the Hebrew prophets was riddled with uncertainty in translation and meaning. Although, it ought to be conceded that this uncertainty may have been over imposed by secular scholars keen to discount the possibility of any prophet doing anything other than reporting recent events as if they were yet to happen to ascribe some sort of authorised interpretation of history. Once or twice such hypothesises are interesting but when one finds scholars dismissing long established dating of a prophetic book on the basis that they predicted some event (perhaps even vaguely) that occurred after this previously supposed date of authorship, then one starts to wonder what the 'scholar' supposes the point is and indeed what he makes of the many types of Jesus Christ that Christians point to in the Old Testament. Pious, but erroneous. eisegesis imposed by the institutional church no doubt.
Talking about an institutional church, the Church's role in education is frustrating as it stands (more standing). Some complain that teachers are overworked and underpaid - yet these are usually the same liberals who will dismiss a nun from living out her vocation in service to the young and then later ask the question 'well what good does the church do society?'. Being in a city with many parishes, we feel unattached to any one in particular. This is a shame in the sense that we used to be ardent in our praise of the parish as the place of encounter with the Gospel for most people - perhaps we were spoilt by such a wonderful parish back home! This detachment, however, frees us up in our career choices since we no longer desire primary to be available to commit to serving the parish in a structured manner (and also allows is to crudely dismiss the suggested of pursuing a vocation as a parish priest...even if it is recommended us on the basis of our being full of __________). Although one bugbear at the moment is that the Church does appear obsessed with keeping up with the latest trends; yes, be docile to the Spirit...but you know the Church has been led by him for the last 1980 year or so without the need for daily facebook memes and photos of the pontiff quoted saying some lovely, but blindingly obvious, statement (often one widely circulated some time go...when he first said it - at least be consistent and get with the times!).
Overall, it seems that the more we study theology the less we feel the need to talk about God and the more we feel the need to enter into relationship with the persons of the Trinty. Afterall, "unless there is a sense in which theology falls silent before God, it cannot speak of him" (Luke Bell, in his latest book - 'The Meaning of Blue').