Happy 2014! This is my first post of this semester, let alone the New Year! Everyone here at CUA is moved back in and already in our third week of the second semester. It’s great being back, and even though it’s been so cold lately, friendly faces are always around to warm you up.
Since being back there’s been a lot going on, but I would like to talk about the Mass on the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Mass was held on Tuesday, January 28, in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine. Each semester CUA holds a “University Mass” where classes are cancelled around a Mass time in order for the students to worship. This Tuesday, with the slogan, “Skip Class, Go to Mass!”, classes were cancelled between 11:50am and 1:20pm and students were encouraged to attend the noon Mass.
I find every Mass in the Basilica to always be moving. With the huge organ, enormous space, and stunning art work, there is always something new to admire. While preparing for Mass to start, I was struck by the quote, “Never was it known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided,” in reference to the Virgin Mary. The quote, located high above an arch, carved in the stone, gave me a peace of mind, and prepared me to celebrate the Mass.
The homilist was the Reverend Thomas Petri of the Dominican House of Studies, which is located across the street from the University. His homily, fittingly, discussed the life and teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. A few points that struck out to me included the fact that Aquinas, (the Patron Saint of Education and The Catholic University of America), was the first to be Canonized due to his continuous teaching and preaching of the Gospel through his life. Also, Aquinas enjoyed studying and learning due to the fact that God is the absolute truth, and in order to know God, we need to know truth. I don’t want to rehash through the entire homily, but basically, we were encouraged to continue our learning, so that we will continue to grow closer to God.
I very much enjoyed the beautiful service for St. Thomas Aquinas, especially since it was held during National Catholic Schools Week. Essentially I felt connected to all the other Catholic schools across the country in prayer, and it was a very cool feeling. The University makes it easy for students to grow in their faith, while still not forcing it on everyone. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy attending Catholic University.