Sister Cheryl Rose, HM, is a spiritual director and a retreat director and is in vocation ministry with her congregation, the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, in Villa Maria, Pennsylvania.

Imprinted in our psyche is that annual “back to school” feeling, with the call to be a student again, as we see the stores and newspaper ads displaying notebooks, pens and markers, backpacks, and all the tools for the classroom!  The eternal student in us remembers that feeling of excitement and anticipation, and maybe a little dread, of the teachers, and classmates, and of returning to the discipline of learning and homework. 

One of my favorite retreat topics with groups is to consider what “classroom” you are currently in and what courses you have been enrolled in by life.  What’s your major?  What school are you attending?  Who are your Teachers this year????

Let’s say your major is Personal Growth.  What topics do you imagine you will have to study, and come to understand???  Or let’s say your spiritual life is your major.  What courses might a major like that include??  We could imagine it might include Trust 101; Getting to Know God—Beginning Course; Intermediate Discipleship; Endurance 201; Introduction to Suffering; Servanthood—An Overview.  And what about the upper division courses, like Advanced Forgiveness; Honors Trust; or AP Acceptance???? 

How do you know what course you’ve been enrolled in?  Well, what are you learning---about life, about relationships, about God, about YOU?  What lessons are before you?  What exercises face you?  Where are your challenges….and who are your Teachers?

Whatever your main course this year—you’ll have MANY exercises and assignments to learn it, to practice it, to refine it, and to commit it to memory!  Good luck, my fellow students!  Let us take up our learning with enthusiasm and confidence in our perfectly designed curriculum!