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In this Sunday’s second reading St Paul tells the Philippians to “fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise.” (4:8)

This is excellent advice for the start of a new academic year. Our study is the pursuit of truth: this is why we are in a University. But that is not all: our whole lives, including our lives here, are for the pursuit of the noble, the good and the pure. St Paul does not separate pursuit of the truth from the pursuit of love and virtue. The two go together. Our academic study should add to the nobility of our life; and to pursue the good requires us to know the truth about what is good.

When we study truth in our academic field, whether it be astronomy or archaeology, mathematics or modern language, we must be seeking God. And when we consider the divine, we seek always for truth. Our faith must never be blind or blinkered: we relate to God as rational beings, made in his image.

So, whether you are a new student or a returnee, take advantage of the many opportunities this city and University afford: academic and otherwise, in the Chaplaincy and elsewhere. See all this as part of your Christian calling: love learning, and in doing so love God and love your neighbour.

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