The Gospel Of Life

In his Angelus message on Dec. 19, 1993, Pope John Paul II called society to respect life from conception and not to simply regard embryonic life as “a mere biological fact” that can be used for research, as the basis for the medical treatment of another or as something that can simply be disposed of.

Science demonstrates that in the fruit of conception from the first instant there is established the program of what this living being will be: a man, this individual man with his characteristic aspects already well determined. From this embryonic existence to full physical and spiritual maturity, there is a continuous organic development.

This evident orientation of the embryo towards its future makes it impossible for it to be treated as mere biological matter, since, in God's plan for man, the precise biological “individuality” received in the maternal womb is also welcomed by the omnipotent love of God who intervenes to endow it with an immortal soul. Indeed, this soul, as the principle of the person, is immediately created by God.

As a result, surrounded by the warmth of his mother's womb and by God's creative love, the human being, although extremely fragile, should be paid the respect due to every human person. (No. 2)

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.