Oil Running Down the Beard

No, the title isn’t a plug for Catholic Beard Balm, though they are awesome over there.  Rather, it’s quote from Psalm 133, used to describe… well, I’ll just let you read it.

Psalm 133 (RSVCE)

1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
running down upon the beard,
upon the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life for evermore.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!  Brotherhood/fraternity in seminaries, especially college seminaries, is quite prominent in my experience; the college seminary I attended is well known for its fraternity despite being one of the largest college seminaries in the country, with over 120 men.  When you throw a bunch of men striving for righteousness into a building together, wonderful things happen – like seminarian flash mobspraying outside abortion clinics, whiffle ball tournamentsflag football, and other various shenanigans.

Beyond the fun layer though, there is a also very deep level of brotherhood present.  Seminaries are what college fraternities should be; instead of having a common focus of partying, the common focus is the Lord.  In an environment with a common goal, common likes are easily found and friendships quickly established. In an environment of affirmation, brothers build each other up to be better men. In an environment of charity, correction can be offered without malice.  In an environment of trust, a man need not be alone when struggling. Along with these large benefits come also many small things that continually bring support and exemplify virtue to all in the community; a rising tide lifts all boats.

This has thus far been very abstract language, and I apologize; it’s hard to put into concrete terms my many experiences of brotherhood in seminary.  My suggestion? Go on a seminary visit.  Experience it.  See the brother living in unity and you’ll see “precious oil […] running down upon the beard,” both figuratively in the beauty of brotherhood – and, yes, you’ll see a lot of Catholic Beard Balm too.

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