Prima non Datur et Ultima Dispensatur

Back in the seminary, we have this academic tradition called PRIMA NON DATUR or the first is not given. The practice inside the seminary is that, the first day of formal classes is considered a gift. And the last day of formal classes is likewise a gift – et ultima dispensatur. Meaning the last day is dispensed with.

Truths remain as truths whether given at the first day of classes, in the middle of a semester or towards its end. And truth does not become lesser truth if given later.

There was once a superstition that all that was old was true but now we are faced with what is the contrary and a dangerous superstition that all that is old is false and all that is new is true.

In fact TIME has nothing to do with TRUTH. New truth can and must replace old errors, but it cannot replace older truths. It was foolish of some men to believe that everything Aristotle said was true, just because he said it (in fact many of his doctrines have a lot of loopholes). But it is more foolish to believe that everything Aristotle has said is false just because he said it four centuries before Christ.

I wish to share what Etienne Gilson a famous scholar in philosophy said,

“let us always keep our minds open to every truth and learning, whether it is old or new; let us joyously submit to it, whatever may the time or the direction from which it comes. Be ready always to yield to it, resolve to stick to it, and it will spare you the burden of surrendering to anybody or anything else. Truth will make you free; submission to it will make you great.”

And lastly, in learning we have to bear in mind that nothing is more great an accomplishment than sharing the magic of laughter, the harmony of friendship and the beauty of love. And know that there is no success so sweet than living life everyday and enjoying it to the fullest.

God Bless.


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