Return to Program and Remarks
Richard I. Deibert
Director, Center for Spiritual Life
September 7, 2005
Eternal and Living God,
we stand before You
on this threshold of possibility
holding precious things;
in one hand, a beloved human life,
in the other, a promising academic year.
But on this day, holding these two gifts,
We stand not alone,
But in the company
Of sister and brother humanity
Who have been battered by
Earth, air, fire, and water.
And so we beg You, Lord, at this new beginning,
To tear down the veil between heaven and earth,
And to graciously show us,
Who we are and what we are to do
With these two treasures of self and college
To ease the burden of our neighbor.
Are we to smash what we are holding,
Hand against hand,
As if we are nutcrackers,
Seeking some sweet, mangled fruit of self satisfaction
Out of the violent collision of
Our life and the liberal arts?
Are we to toss what we are holding,
Hand from hand from hand,
As if we are jugglers,
Seeking some awe-inspiring feat of rational dexterity
In which the two never truly touch
Our soul and our study?
Or are we to bring together what we are holding,
Hand to hand,
Softly and slowly and precisely,
As if we are gemcutters,
Seeking something true, beautiful, good,
And merciful to our neighbor in distress:
Our own person,
Lovingly chipped and chiseled, sanded and polished
By a diligent, compassionate, and joyful academic year?
Yes, that is who we are,
By Your kindness and generosity:
A community of stonecutters,
Seeking to become jewels
That grace the life of our suffering neighbor
With the glory of Your love.
So may it be,
All year long,