Category Archives: Theology

Professor Makransky, Theology


Look for a truth beyond your own accustomed ways of thinking and reacting; a truth of deepest reverence for yourself and others, which takes shape in your best and most creative responses.


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Jen Bader, School of Theology and Ministry


I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated from college. I didn’t even know it had a name. And that turned out okay. Even what I did in the meantime ended up being part of what led to work that is fulfilling and speaks to people and issues about which I care passionately.

So—for those who are like me and don’t know, at least know that its OK not to know! Relax, reflect, pay attention to your passion. Do something good to make a living in the meantime.

Many blessings as you celebrate your accomplishments here at Boston College and move into whatever’s next.

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Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Theology

Never be afraid to risk love. Treasure your parents, your family, no matter how flawed—they are precious, they are yours. Honor your friendships:  Like bread, friendship is the staff of life; like wine, it is joy tempered by sun, wind, and rain. Be human—any other choice mocks not only the Creator, but also the deep transcendent possibilities of human life. Embrace your work and seek work worthy of your embrace; yet, do not forget that the worth of work comes not from the monetary value assigned to it, but from the contribution it makes to the flourishing of the common good. Keep an eye out for those who are shy and lonely, small and weak; they might be angels in disguise. Respect others and respect yourself–your mind, your heart, your body, your soul. Never be afraid to risk love.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you! Blessings and travel well!

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Professor John McDargh, Theology

There is a Buddhist teaching story about a young novice who approaches the elderly, wise abbot of the monastery and asks him if he would write out  a teaching that the novice  might study and be lead to enlightenment.   The old monk agrees and taking up his brush calligraphies on a scroll of paper the single phrase:

Pay Attention !

“Is that it?” the novice asks incredulously. “Is there nothing more?”

“Oh, yes”,  the abbot nodded, “there is certainly more”   And taking up his brush again he wrote vigorously :

Pay Attention !

Pay Attention !

Pay Attention !

Often I hear seniors speak with concern  of entering the “real” world after graduation.  I do appreciate that what they are referring to is the world where they have to worry about rent and taxes and landlords and jobs and trying to make meaningful friendships with peers and potential partners  when not living on a compact college campus.  Yet I want to raise an objection. The “real” world is not a function of extrinsic economic conditions or living circumstances.   It is, rather a function , of the quality of wakefulness,  awareness, or  “attention” that one brings to each moment of living. The  world is “real” to the extent that one is able to keep  one’s heart and mind open to all the wonder and terror alike that comes with seeing the world in all of its beauty and all of its suffering.  That is a profound spiritual practice and it begins today.   If the world is not “real” for you prior to May 24th,  it won’t be any more real to you on May 25th.   There are no end of persons who have been living in the world of mortgage payments and health insurance premiums who are asleep at the helm of their lives and have been for years.

Take courage!

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Professor Hinsdale, Theology

One of my favorite stories about college comes from a friend who was several years ahead of me.  She was an English major  and then went on to get her Master’s and Doctorate and ended up teaching English for many years at our old alma mater, Marygrove College in Detroit.  When she was there as an undergrad, the great American poet, Robert Frost, came to campus to give a reading (this was in the early 1960s).  She had a paper due the next day, so she stayed in her room to work on it.  Frost died a few months later.  She always told this story to her English students when she ASSIGNED them to attend an outside lecture on campus.  “There are somethings students simply have to be TOLD to do!”  That story always reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Sojourner Truth:  “I would have saved many more, if only they knew they were slaves.”

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