“Dear students, we urge you to use the time of your years of study to ennoble your mind through study, your soul through prayer and your life by cultivating collegiality, sincere friendship, which you will keep for the rest of your life,” the patriarchal auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti told theology students on Friday, October 1, 2021.
“In a world where values are set aside, the friendship, solidarity you cultivate here at the faculty can be of great help to you later, when life puts each of you in the face of trials and temptations.”
“And then the help and love of a friend during our studies, a colleague with whom we have a fraternal relationship means a lot in this world marked by individualism, selfishness, loneliness more and more,” the patriarchal auxiliary Bishop said at the opening of the academic year at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest.
Bishop Varlaam emphasized the words of Christ to the woman in the crowd, from the Holy Gospel of Luke 11: 28: Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. “Behold, young people direct their way by listening, appreciating and putting into practice these words of the Lord,” the Bishop said.
“The students of this faculty,” he continued, “have great happiness and a great privilege that, among other disciplines, first of all, to listen, to study, to deepen, to meditate on the words of the Lord. However, they must never forget the word of the Saviour, Who says that whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19). It is not enough to listen to and learn the words of the Lord.”
“It is important that during the academic year, we not only listen but keep these words as a treasure of great price. You have seen in the parable of the hidden treasure. When someone found out that there was a treasure in a field, he sold everything and with what he obtained, he bought that field for himself to acquire the treasure hidden in it.”
“These years of study at the Faculty of Theology offer you the opportunity to acquire this treasure that is represented by the words and teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ by investing time, passion, and spiritual energy. In a world where nothing pleases us, all things disappoint us, the Word of Christ is Spirit and is Life.”
“The study of God’s Word must be accompanied during this period and until the end of our lives with much prayer, because only God’s grace enlightens our minds to understand the true meaning of Christ’s word and gives us the strength not only to study but to keep and to make the word we receive here in our soul effective.”
The Patriarch’s message
His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti congratulated the students and professors on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, after which he read out the message of His Beatitude for the new academic year 2021-2022.
“This message is very emotional and emphasizes the values that young people, being enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which we asked today through the prayers at the Te Deum service and the Divine Liturgy, may cultivate both in their youth and throughout their lives,” His Grace noted.
The hierarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy and a Te Deum service at the University Chapel of Saint Catherine, together with professors of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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