"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth - in a word, to know himself - so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves." ~Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship between Faith and Reason
Congratulations on finding the one essential site for every Catholic College student!!
- An quick and easy reference guide to the college Humanities ISM curriculum for College Catholics
- Draw on the treasures of the Catholic Church to realize the reasoning behind your faith and its teaching
- No more hopeless confusion between faith and reason - they are not mutually exclusive!
- No more need to reinvent the proverbial wheel - why start from scratch?
- No more agonizing to separate the liberal bias and agendas from your college courses
No more excuses for not knowing the basics of Catholicism and truth as you study the "ism" curriculum at your College or University. This site is a free service to all college students, including my own children and their friends, who are embarking upon their formative years of secondary and higher education. It is also a labor of love and an humble, personal attempt by an adjunct college instructor to guide and empower interested students who visit in the knowledge, comfort, light and truth of our Roman Catholic faith! It is not meant to be scholarly in the academic or formal sense, nor is it meant to be comprehensive in scope. Rather, it is offered as a basic webguide and a quick reference for Christian students that can lead and inspire them to further study and a greater appreciation of their faith, reason, history and the humanities. Like your Guardian Angel, it is always here in cyberspace, remaining quietly at your side, ready and eager to assist you and never more than a mere thought and click away, no matter how far from home college has taken you . . .
Dear College Catholic Student:
Every Catholic college student who is concerned about his or her faith and takes a course in the humanities needs precisely what this website provides – clear and considered responses to the many issues and struggles of our day! This website is designed to help you understand and discern TRUTH in a college environment that oftentimes stresses educational concepts, interests and "isms" at the expense of truth. Here, you will find insightful looks at several important, popular humanities concepts in clear, straightforward language along with context needed to help you consider them confidently and more fully from the perspective of your faith. Conscientious high school students will find this site valuable too! When you tour the site and consider what it offers, we know that you will find it to be a useful resource throughout your college years, as you struggle to cut to the core of your course agendas, humanities subjects and your professors’ teachings and rhetoric. You can rest assured that you have found a reliable resource and study partner for your formative, undergraduate years.
Your Christian faith is something to be proud of and most Catholic students enter college with a quiet pride in being Catholic. Many Christian students, however, tend to become confused about their faith and lose their spirituality as they progress through college, particularly if they failed to meaningfully practice or appreciate what they have been given. It is always sad when this happens, but not surprising. For Catholic students, the college atmosphere can be a difficult one to cultivate that essential understanding and appreciation in. Many college professors do not talk meaningfully about religion in most academic disciplines. The "Enlightenment" is often taught and heralded as mankind's rational rebuke of the absolutist, dogmatic approach of institutionalized religion. Reason is powerful but can be, at best, limiting if not coupled with faith - and few on campus will tell you that! Classic virtues and traditional values embraced by orthodox religion are often ignored or summarily dismissed on campuses as irrelevant, patriarchal, ethnocentric or outdated. Concepts like multiculturalism, tolerance, humanism, secularism, and relativism routinely pepper the classrooms of colleges and universities everywhere while religion and Christianity in particular can be half-heartedly or thoughtlessly discussed, if not readily dismissed in derogatory fashion, as mere creations of men, “simple,” “naïve,” “fiction,” and much worse! Indeed, students attending colleges or universities that proclaim their Catholic heritage or affiliation can be guilty of these same things too!
You may have already experienced some of these elitist, negative and hostile comments about our Catholic faith in your college classrooms or on campus! If you have, do not get angry or confused by all of the college "isms" that you encounter. Think long and hard about everything that they will teach you at your respectable College or University. Strive to see and understand each of them for what they are!! True learning requires wrestling with and mastering these concepts and their underlying assumptions until you have learned the TRUTH about them.
Many Catholic students erroneously believe that they must discard their faith in order to be an independent thinker and "reinvent the wheel." You may be encouraged by your peers or professors to do as much -- and you must learn to think critically. But, you must recognize that liberal college and cultural studies programs can have political and social agendas too!! Sometimes what they don't teach you in the classroom is far more interesting and enlightening than what they do. Simply accept this and recall that tolerance and respect apply to your own Catholic faith too. Demand this respect from your college professors for your faith and show as much respect to and knowledge of your Catholic faith as your professors will demand of you in the course of your education to other religions and points of view. This sensible approach will almost surely enable you to become a good witness of the Christian faith to others!
RELAX and don't be overwhelmed!! You have arrived at a place of peace, understanding and contemplation. That you arrived here is a testament to your diligence, faith and the conscientious nature of your personal commitment to your studies. You have found CollegeCatholics.com and already possess the truth in Jesus Christ – a universal, unassailable Truth - that compels reason, experience and history to find the Truth about and in Him! Chances are that you, like most college students, have not yet fully appreciated the extent or fullness of His Truth. That same God who created you, loves you unconditionally and resides within you does not abandon you when high-minded, thought-provoking, philosophical, political or college concepts make their way from your thick, expensive texts and your intimidating Professors’ powerpoint lectures into the most private of places – your mind. Study the concepts well and strive to understand them all – for it is only when you do so that you will you come to know with confidence and greater appreciation that God’s Truth is our Truth, that His Truth is universal and that Truth knows no academic or disciplinary boundaries.
Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed Pope John Paul II, like many philosophers, professors and theologians before them, understand that faith and reason are consistent, not incompatible or mutually exclusive. Your Catholic faith is indeed that elusive "pearl" of wisdom that everyone on campus, including your professors, searches incessantly for. Professor Scott Hahn of Franciscan University put it succinctly in his book "Reasons to Believe" stating that the mysteries of Christianity are "a participation in the very life of God," inexhaustible yet "eminently knowable because God Himself has willed them to be known. That is the very reason for His self-disclosure in creation, 'the book of nature.' God and his ways are understandable and defensible; and as Christians, we have the sweet obligation of coming to know them and coming to their defense as often as we please. There is no shortage of opportunity for study, contemplation, and evangelization. Wherever we go, we are in God's presence and in His world. And in most places we go we can take a good book along for stolen moments of study. It's the work of a lifetime." Hahn, Scott, Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, pg. 10 (Doubleday 2007).
So welcome and thank you for indulging the opportunity to explore the depths of the Catholic faith. Where your heart is, so too is your treasure!! May your heart find rest, comfort and strength in His Sacred Heart, the very heart of Jesus that was pierced by a sword, and from which living water and lifesaving blood flowed for your salvation. May you & your family, friends and classmates find strength, knowledge, understanding, enlightenment, refreshment and inspiration in His loving embrace here in cyberspace during your academic years!!
Click Here to read the 1996 Letter from the U.S. Catholic Bishops to College Students!
Click Here to visit the Cardinal Newman Society's on-line Guide to Choosing a Catholic College!