Knowledge, wisdom and prayer: The Inauguration of the new academic year | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Knowledge, wisdom and prayer: The Inauguration of the new academic year


Jerusalem, October 5, 2012

I am pleased that you teach sacred theology to the friars provided that this endeavor, does not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion, as it is written in the Rule (St. Francis, Letter to St. Anthony)

The new academic year 2012-2013, was inaugurated with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Parish Church of St. Saviour. The Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa was the main celebrant, with the deans of the academic institutions concelebrating.

Teachers and seminarians from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, the Studium Theologicum Jerosolymitanum and the Studium Theologicum Salesianum, religious, the laity and other staff attended the celebration.

The celebration started with the hymn Creator Spiritus, a prayer to the Holy Spirit to give light and strength to all their academic endeavors.

The Custos’ homily traced the dialogue between God and Job, introducing an important passage in the book: the answer of God. He went on to quote Carl Barth, author of a well-known commentary on the Book of Job, in which he says that God does not answer Job. God is the answer. It is understood that this chapter brings God directly in front of Job, without mediation.

Fr. PierbattistaPizzaballa invited them to take this figure and many others from both the Old and New Testament as a reference to the life of faith.
In order to avoid the risk of “making God and our faith in Him functional to something, we must ask ourselves whether the programs and initiatives of this year will be only functional, or will be the result of an experience that nourishes our spiritual life, which we want to know and communicate.”
The Custos, while recognizing that “science needs to divide, break down the object of its study, to know it better in its internal dynamics,” warned that “in this way you fall into the risk of presuming that you possess it and lose sight of the whole, its entirety, the sense of the thing that is studied.”
In his concluding message, addressed primarily to students, the Custos pointed out that wisdom is the ability to give a flavor, a sense of things that are studied in order to give them an orientation and a synthesis; prayer is the necessary tool and indispensable. Because only prayer will help to make the necessary synthesis between the what is studied and the life of faith, directing all to Christ, Primizia.

Before the blessing, Fra Massimo Pazzini, Dean of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, thanked the Custos for his participation, and the Salesian brothers for their presence and collaboration.

At the end of Mass, Fr. Pierbattista wished all a year full of knowledge and wisdom to learn how to break open, in each of their lives, the Bread of the Word.
After Mass, there was a time of sharing in the hall of the Curia.

In Jerusalem, students and seminarians have an extraordinary and unique opportunity, given the privilege to study and deepen their knowledge of the Word of God in the Holy Land, where our salvation was accomplished.
Their formation is possible through the guidance of their professors, biblical scholars, theologians and exegetes, who are the wealth of this Mother Church of Jerusalem.