Saturday, April 4, 2009

Requiem for a Teacher

Continuing the theme of monk friends.... This from Robert, OHC's Superior, who gave a touching sermon at the funeral of an Associate of the Order he had known for many years, Diana Smith. She was a teacher, and Robert sees something very important in that for understanding Diana:
In a recent lecture given at that great Jesuit University — not Georgetown but Boston College — theology professor Fr. Michael Hines talked about the vocation of teaching. He said:

I’ve come to think that if there is one single virtue, it’s integrity. By integrity, I don’t simply mean honesty. I mean the word literally. It’s the quality of being an integer, an entity. It’s what happens at your wake when your spouse talks to your pastor, who talks with your business partner, who speaks with your next-door neighbor, who talks with your children, who speaks with your doctor, and they all know that they knew the same person. You weren’t a series of masks worn for different relationships. You were complete.

Diana was indeed that. An integer. An entity. Complete. No matter how much or little you knew of Diana or about Diana, what you always got was… Diana.

Perhaps that’s why she was so fascinated by the Benedictine monastic vision. At its heart, the monastic goal is to arrive at integrity, to leave behind the divided heart, to will the one thing necessary with singleness of heart and soul and mind. It is of course the Christian vision. It is, I daresay, the human vision. It was Diana’s vision. Let it be ours as well: yours and mine. (source)


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