By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — Quoting proverbs, Bishop Martin Amos encouraged students, faculty and staff at St. Ambrose University to make choices “that bring you wisdom’s presence” and to instruct a wise person so that person becomes wiser. The bishop spoke during the blessing of the academic year Aug. 26.
The blessing was moved inside the gathering space of Christ the King Chapel on the university’s campus due to rain. But rain didn’t dampen the spirit.
Bishop Amos began by reciting “a stitch in time saves nine.” He pointed out that if you deal with something now, it won’t take a lot more work later.
“Sometimes proverbs are contradictory. ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”’ The crowd laughed.
The Book of Proverbs is a wonderful collection of didactic poetry, he said. It was written for both the inexperienced and those advanced in wisdom. It deals with human and divine activity. Some proverbs are purely secular while some offer lofty, moral truth.
After reciting several more proverbs, the bishop reflected on one last proverb: “Wisdom builds her house, but Folly tears hers down with her own hands.”
“It is a great instruction for us as we begin a new school year. Lady Wisdom beckons us to come in, but Folly also sits at her door and calls us. In the image, Folly’s door is a door to a tomb.
“Every day and throughout each day, both of them call us. Pray for wisdom.”
After Bishop Amos sprinkled holy water on those in attendance, St. Ambrose University President Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, addressed the crowd. She welcomed the class of 2013, transfer and graduate students to St. Ambrose.
Sr. Lescinski said as president she is committed to the recognition of St. Ambrose as a leading Midwest university known for its diocesan heritage and Catholic intellectual tradition. “It is our unending search for truth and commitment to social justice and service that defines us as truly Ambrosian.”
Bishop Amos bestowed a blessing on the crowd and Father Chuck Adam, chaplain and director of campus ministry, asked each person present to offer the sign of peace to one another as they departed.