Sanctify Your Studying

Prayers

Prayer Before Study

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Marian Prayer Before Study

O Mary, Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope, by whose loving care and intercession many, otherwise poor in intellect, have wonderfully advanced in knowledge and in holiness, thee do I choose as the guide and patroness of my studies; and I humbly implore, through the deep tenderness of thy maternal love, and especially through that eternal Wisdom who deigned to take from thee our flesh and who gifted thee beyond all the saints with heavenly light, that thou wouldst obtain for me by thy intercession the grace of the Holy Spirit that I may be able to grasp with strong intellect, retain in memory, proclaim by word and deed, and teach others all things which bring honor to thee and to thy Son, and which for me and for others are salutary for eternal life. Amen.

Prayer After Study

I thank you, Lord our God, that again on this occasion you have opened my eyes to the light of your wisdom. You have gladdened my heart with the knowledge of truth. I entreat you, Lord, help me always to do your will. Bless my soul and body, my words and deeds. Enable me to grow in grace, virtue, and good habits, that your name may be glorified, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Thoughts on Studying

  1. Look at school work as the primary means of holiness for you during your academic career – peace, abiding, being faithful in small things, offer up, prayer before and after.
  2. Have a pastoral approach to the subject you are studying – maybe a parishoner will want to talk about it some day in the future.

Quotes on Studying

Houselander

“If we work with His hands there is no work that is without dignity; whether it is a sheet of typing, scrubbing a floor, making a pie, adding a page of figures, carving a statute, playing the piano, or anything else, it is the work of Christ’s hands. It would be incredible if anyone knowing that they worked with His hands, did any work that was shoddy and careless, or was not the best that they could do: whatever they do or make will be warm and living from their touch.” (Houselander PIC 12). 

“Sometimes is may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile”(Houselander RG).

St Josemaria Escriva

  • “It’s good for you to put such determination into your study, as long as you put the same determination into acquiring interior life.” (The Way)
  • Student: form yourself in a solid and active piety, be outstanding in study, have a strong desire for the ‘professional’ apostolate. And with that vigor of your religious and professional training, I promise you rapid and far-reaching developments. – The Way, 346
  • You pray, you deny yourself, you work in a thousand apostolic activities, but you don’t study. You are useless then unless you change.  Study–professional training of whatever type it be–is a grave obligation for us.  – The Way, 334  
  • An hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer.  – The Way, 335
  • You have a war-horse called study. You resolve a thousand times to make good use of your time, yet you are distracted by the slightest thing. Sometimes you get annoyed at yourself, because of your lack of willpower, even though you begin again every day.  Have you tried offering up your study for specific apostolic intentions?  – Furrow, 523
  • Whenever your will weakens in your ordinary work, you must recall these thoughts: “Study, work, is an essential part of my way. If I were discredited professionally as a consequence of my laziness it would make my work as a Christian useless or impossible. To attract and to help others, I need the influence of my professional reputation, and that is what God wants.”  Never doubt that if you abandon your task, you are going away from God’s plans and leading others away from them.  – Furrow, 781
  • You must study … but that is not enough.  What do those who kill themselves working to feed their self-esteem achieve? Or those who have nothing else in mind but assuring peace of mind for a few years ahead?  One has to study – to gain the world and conquer it for God. Then we can raise the level of our efforts: we can try to turn the work we do into an encounter with the Lord and the foundation to support those who will follow our way in the future.  In this way, study will become prayer.  – Furrow, 526
  • Be convinced of this: your apostolate consists in spreading goodness, light, enthusiasm, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice, constancy in work, deep study, complete self-surrender, being up-to-date, cheerful and complete obedience to the Church, and perfect charity.  Nobody can give what he does not have.  – Furrow, 927
  • Sancta Maria, Sedes Sapientiae – Holy Mary, Seat of Wisdom. Invoke Our Mother often in that way, so that she may fill her children, in their study, work and social relations, with the Truth that Christ has brought to us. – Furrow, 607

From Waiting for God by Simone Weil

Students must therefore work without any wish to gain good marks, to pass examinations, to win school successes; without any reference to their natural abilities and tastes; applying themselves equally to all their tasks, with the idea that each one will help to form in them the habit of that attention which is the substance of prayer… To make this the sole and exclusive purpose of our studies is the first condition to be observed if we are to put them to the right use.

The second condition it to take great pains to examine squarely and to contemplate attentively and slowly each school task in which we have failed, seeing how unpleasing and second rate it is, without seeking any excuse or overlooking any mistake or any of our tutor’s corrections, trying to get down to the origin of each fault. There is a great temptation to do the opposite… Most of us do this nearly always. We have to withstand this temptation.

Articles

ADVICE FOR GRAD SCHOOL STUDENTS by Nathaniel Peters

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