My experience with Catholic Studies has been more than an opportunity to grow in knowledge, it has been an incredible opportunity for formation as a person. I came into college with a faith that was founded on “heart-knowledge” of the Lord, but through Catholic Studies, and learning fundamental truths, it has allowed my faith to flourish with a new and rich depth. I am currently taking a course titled, “Faith and Doubt” which is both a Catholic Studies and Philosophy course. My experience in this class has been exceptional. It is never an issue of desiring to do the homework because I truly want to be learning the course material. The material not only inspires my personal faith, but allows me to gain a faith-filled perspective on life that is so significant in relating to others.
Our first topic was looking at the problem of evil by reading Eleonore Stump’s, Wandering in Darkness. Through examining several biblical narratives, she showed the ways God uses existing suffering to draw individual’s deeper in union with Himself and fulfill their heart’s deepest desires. The most influential narrative to me was Mary of Bethany in examining the suffering she experienced throughout her life. Her heart was greatly wounded with insecurities and deep shame, but Jesus used these to draw her into a more intimate relationship with Him and they became a tool for her to love Him in a most humble and beautiful way. This class, and Catholic Studies as a whole, has both encouraged and strengthened my faith, and it is truly an irreplaceable experience.