“We are to consider existence as a raid or great adventure” (G.K. Chesterton)
Yet, as we look upon the faces of many young people today, we might be struck by how weighed down they are by apathy, anxiety, and even despair. This past summer at World Youth Day in Poland, Pope Francis warned the young people of a “most harmful and insidious form of paralysis” which is prevalent in contemporary culture, namely, “the paralysis that comes from confusing happiness with a sofa.” What he means is that we can tend to think that “in order to be happy all we need is a good sofa” which “promises hours of comfort so we can escape.” This “sofa happiness” does not satisfy the human heart.
So how does life become an adventure? Through being taken up into the great questions, stories and ideas of the West, our own experience of daily life is enriched—we are capacitated to see that even the mundane possess a greater depth and meaning. In other words, by engaging in this reflection, we, at Chesterton Academy of The Holy Family, are presented with compelling vision of the beauty of human life. And, it is this vision which enables our lives to become an “adventure”:
– Homer’s “long- suffering Odysseus” witnesses to the great patience and the many companions which are needed in making a journey home. Augustine evokes in us an awareness “that our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”
– We are prompted to evaluate of our own character when Aristotle states that “he who stands his ground against things that are terrible and delights in this, or at least is not pained, is brave, while the man who is pained is a coward.”
– The adventures of Sir Thomas Malory’s “knights of the round table” remind us, in a particular way, that life is an adventure.
– It is Dickens’ Sydney Carton who, in walking toward the guillotine, testifies to the manner in which human life acquires its stature in the affirmation of faith: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
– In mathematics, we begin to comprehend the wisdom of Solomon who prayed, “But thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight.” By glimpsing the harmony of the world through numbers, our minds are raised to God.
Most importantly, the entire education at Chesterton Academy is centered around our faith in Jesus Christ, “the Word who became flesh and dwells among us.” For, as the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council proclaimed, “The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man takes on light.” Christ is the one who enables human life to possess it’s truly adventurous character—“Behold I make all things new!”
Lastly, as the foregoing suggests, the Classical education offered Chesterton Academy of The Holy Family is not only intellectual but also moral and spiritual: “there is no separation between time for learning and time for formation, between acquiring notions and growing in wisdom,” virtue and holiness.
We invite you to “come and see,” … to set out on the journey with us! “Arise, let us be on our way!” (St. John Paul II).
Conor D. Hill, Ph.D.
Dr. Hill’s Bio: In addition to A level courses in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, U.K., he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Masters in Theology and Doctor of Philosophy in Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He brings tremendous teaching and leadership expertise from his previous experience at both high school and college levels. We are excited to have such an enthusiastic leader join our staff. He was heavily sought after by many schools and we are blessed and fortunate that he chose Chesterton Academy of The Holy Family.