St Dyfrig

Bishop and Confessor (entered heaven in the year 522)

Dear Frogger,

I’ve got my suspicions about that psychology professor of yours with whom you’ve been spending so much time.  OK, his scholarship is unquestionable and his popularity legendary, but what about his holiness? Remember, disciples follow the path of their teachers; maybe your motives for seeking scholarly excellence and popularity are good ones (though you may want to do an examination of conscience to make sure), but what about holiness?  What about the deep, lasting happiness that goes with it? Have you a mentor for that as well? You ought to be looking for one if you haven’t, and you should curb your attachment to others before you do. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but maybe today’s saint can help.

We don’t know much about his background.  What we do know is that during a time when Christianity was raw and sin was rampant throughout Britain, he established two highly successful schools in Wales, schools that churned out saints and scholars alike for generations.  At one point, more than 1000 diligent religious were under his beneficent rule. So influential was he, that he was made bishop, and then promoted to a more prominent bishopric, before he turned it over to St David and then retired to solitude on the Island of Bardsley, where he died and was buried.

What was the secret to his success as a professor and a saint?  All witnesses agree: he took care first to order his own soul, and only then did he go forth to teach and order others’ souls.  He was renowned for his dedication to prayer, silence, and the reading of Holy Scripture. That’s where he found the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Does your psychology professor pray?  Is he holy? If not, I would be leery of putting all my eggs in his basket; learn from him, and respect him as a man and a scholar, but don’t be duped into turning psychology into your Savior.

Your loving uncle, Eddy

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