Friday, August 01, 2014

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Thomas Aquinas College Grad: ‘With Every Blessing, There is Duty’

A recent graduate of Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., said that the College’s class of 2014 will strive to bring the “light of truth to those we encounter in our life ahead.”

Speaking to the College’s Board of Governors, alumnus Patrick Cross said that the “average student at this college has been blessed to a greater degree than perhaps any person in the world, past or present. And to say this, I do not believe, is to be hyperbolic.”

Cross related how he and his classmates have been blessed by TAC, and acknowledges that “with every blessing there is a duty.”  Part of his address to the Board reads:

As regards our upbringing, we students, for the most part, have been born into families as stable as any. As regards our home, we have been blessed to live in a land which affords us unparalleled peace and opportunity to perfect ourselves and others. As regards our religion, we are the inheritors of the one true Catholic faith. And finally, as regards our learning, we have received an education which induces more essentially to the end of man than perhaps any in the world today. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “we have truly been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.”

My fellow seniors and I have, admittedly, labored little in the acquisition of these bounties. You, our families, and our friends have been the laborers; we the recipients. Therefore, I would like to thank you for all you have done for us. However, with every blessing there is a duty, and we are reminded of the words of our Savior, that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Our blessings have been greater than any, and so too must be our duty.

This duty can be intimidating, but it is ours only because you, as instruments of the Lord, have equipped us. Friedrich Nietzsche, perhaps the antithesis of all we do here, once said that when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. My fellow seniors and I stand before the rest of our lives. In front of us is a culture hostile to all we believe in. We, as it were, stare into the abyss. However, we are not like Mr. Nietzsche. We have faith and for the last four years, with the guidance of this college, we have sought understanding. So as we stare into the abyss before us, we do not see a sinister face staring back. We see a light shining in the darkness, and it is by this light that we shall move forward.

Thomas Aquinas College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

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