I am on an airplane on my way home from a six day workshop in Theology at the beautiful Arnold Hall in Pembroke, MA. What a privilege it was to be there.
The 25 women I spent this week with were nothing less than inspirational. Young and old, from several countries, married and not, professionals and homemakers, both mostly mothers to families of all sizes, these women taught me as much as the dozen or so classes I took on theology. There are a lot of really good people in this world, doing amazing things in the interest of our nation and our society. They challenged me to think about what I could be doing better in many areas of my life, though many claimed that it was actually I who was inspiring them through the story I am living out right now. Imagine that.
We had an excellent priest, Father Bob Connor, give our classes. He is without a doubt the best-read person I have ever met. In order to understand theology and philosophy at the level at which he does, he has not only consumed every important work written on the subject since 600BC, but he can quote page numbers and actual paragraphs of the most pivotal ones. He was a pleasure to listen to, easy to follow through a very complicated subject, and seriously enhanced my view of what being Christian is all about.
It was a lovely vacation for me, with delicious and beautiful meals showing up regularly, only my own minimal laundry to be done, and lots of time to read and think and pray. With no internet access (other than spotty 3G), I found many different ways to spend my free time, but mostly chose to get to know the ladies that were there. It was time well spent. (Although I really missed my family and can't wait to plaster them with kisses upon arrival!)
No matter what your faith, I challenge you to get to know it better in theory and practice, which should be one and the same. We can't truly understand our faith properly if we are not formed by others before us, which is why things like classes, reading and spiritual direction are so important. Our Catholic faith is 2000 years old and full of richness--the faith of the Jewish people even older. There is so much there for us to learn and understand, and yet you don't have to be a theologian to be a great Catholic. That is the beauty of faith.