A Story Unfolds
It was over 25 years ago, and I was visiting the campus of Franciscan University with my Dad. As we made our way to noon Mass, he stopped and pointed out a young man surrounded by students, talking animatedly in the courtyard in front of the Christ the King Chapel. “That’s Scott Hahn,” Dad said. “Be sure to take a theology class with him.”
Dad had known the young professor from his time studying in Milwaukee, our home town—the place where Professor Hahn had entered the Church not too many years before. I made a mental note, and a year later, after I’d been accepted as a student, navigated through the chaos of registration day and found a good-natured old friar who was taking theology course requests. “I”d like to take the Old Testament class with Professor Scott Hahn,” I said, and he obligingly wrote my name down
Not long after I followed the directions on my schedule to the classroom listed. Young people milled around the room, unable to find enough seats. Finally, our professor arrived, shaking his head. “Follow me,” he said. “We’ve got to move to another building with a bigger room. They accidentally took registrations from freshmen for my class—that wasn’t supposed to happen.” We trooped behind him across campus and wound our way through another, newer building and into a larger room. I found a seat in the front.
Professor Hahn—not yet a Doctor—began in prayer, opened his Bible, and started to teach. I sat mesmerized as he spoke, realizing within a few moments that life might never be the same. A cradle Catholic, I had always—by the grace of God—loved my faith. But that day I realized how little I actually knew about it. I began to see a story unfold, a story that began in Genesis and continued in the Church and of which I was an integral part. I saw the story of salvation—a beautiful story which I had before only consumed in bits and pieces. Now, we were going to start from the beginning. I wanted as much of that as I could get. Within a few weeks, I switched majors from English to Theology. “I can study English anywhere,” I reasoned. “But I can only get this while I’m here.”
I never looked back. Four years flew by, four classes with the soon-to-be Dr. Hahn, a bible study with his wife Kimberly—I soaked it all in. It shaped my faith and my marriage (Dr. Hahn taught my husband and I Christian Marriage while we were engaged seniors). I loved it.
A Story Continues
A couple of decades went by, years of mommyhood and carpools and countless peanut butter sandwiches. I read a lot still, but that was the extent of my learning until something began to tug at my heart. The subtle suggestion that there was more.
I stumbled onto Dan Burke’s Avila Institute website and that something stirred. Was this the more for me? It sounded so perfect—subjects I’d love to study, from my own home, with solid, accessible professors. On top of that, even with 5 of our 6 kids in private school, it was still affordable for me.
I procrastinated for about a year until the Lord could finally convince me it was time to begin. And then I saw another volume of this sacred story open before me. I absorbed with incredible wonder the richness of the mystical wisdom of the great saints of prayer. I learned about the interior life as if my mind and my heart were finally coming together. “So that’s what that’s called,” I would find my heart leaping in recognition as I journeyed with the saints around interior castles, over bridges, across mystical mountains, and through nights darker than death.
I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been led to the work of these men who have faithfully followed God’s call into the Church and then answered His invitation to share what they had discovered with me , with all of us.
I wasn’t ‘supposed’ to be in that theology class years ago. I randomly ‘found’ the Avila Institute when I wasn’t even looking for it. But there are no coincidences, are there?
It is no coincidence that you are reading this now, either! We have exciting news to share. You may not be able to find a seat in the front of Dr. Hahn’s classroom, but you can pull up a chair in your own home for an exclusive, one-night-only webinar with Dan Burke and Scott Hahn as they discuss the source and summit of our faith: the Holy Eucharist.
Listen in on a conversation of two great men of faith as they probe questions such as: How do the Last Supper and the Crucifixion illuminate each other? How does Easter Sunday transform a sacrifice into a sacrament? How is the Old Testament fulfilled in the person of Christ?
You are invited to this private event and we would love to have you join two of the foremost leaders in authentic Catholic teaching on Monday, November 4th at 7 PM Central Standard Time.
Spaces are limited so I encourage you to sign up here: https://spiritualdirection.com/scotthahn. Don’t procrastinate like me! Why wait when you can get a front-row seat to orthodoxy?
Consider this a nudge from the Holy Spirit.
We’ll see you there.