by Clare Schmitt
Yoke yourself under the law of God, so that you may be in truth a free man. ~ St. Ephraem the Syrian
For most of you, two whole months have passed since the beginning of the school year! Think about all of the things you’ve accomplished in school over the past two months. You may feel as though you’ve accomplished a lot, or perhaps you feel that you didn’t accomplish as much as you would have liked to. However, all of the hard work you’ve put into your studies these past two months have borne a lot of fruit, even if you can’t see them just yet.
St. Ephraem reminds us that it is only in following the law of God that we can be truly free. There are times in school when all of the rules, formulas, and algorithms feel stifling. Why can’t we just be allowed to think for ourselves? How can we express ourselves creatively when we have all of these rules to follow? However, the most creative and innovative artists know that they will never create a great work of art if they have never bothered learning how to draw a straight line. An artist who has never learned the rules is very limited in what he can do, while an artist who knows all of the rules, and practices them, has the freedom to create any work of art he desires.
It is the same with God’s law. At times, we may feel as though the rules of the Church make us less free – wouldn’t we have more freedom if we were allowed to do what we want? However, like the artist, God’s law gives us the tools, and therefore the freedom, to do much more than we could without His guidance. Let us ask God for the grace to fulfill our calling as students, following the rules laid out for us by our parents and the Catholic Church.