Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday and Saturday

I was out way too late on Friday night, so I didn't get a chance to update yesterday, so I'm going to do 2 days in one post.

Friday started off with Fr. Richard John Neuhaus discussing Centissimus Annus. He had some GREAT insights into the nature of economics. His greatest thing that really stuck out to me was his idea that economists look at economy as a pie in which the rich have most of the pie. This, however, is not the Catholic position. The Catholic position is that there is an unlimited amount of wealth to be created, and that poverty, at least in first world countries, is not a result of the rich suppressing the poor, but of lack of access to the ability to be creative in an economic context. It was very insightful.

Then we had Fr. Maciej Zieba do another talk. Again, the language barrier was a bit of an issue and it made for the lecture to seem a bit...long. However, he had again some great insights into free economy. It was amazing how this man is so very against Social-Democratic ideals. Talking to a lot of Polish people, actually (who have universal health care) are against it because they see the problems it causes and the top heavy system it creates. They wish that, at least, there could be a 2 tier system like in the UK.

Anyways, after that I took the afternoon off. There was an optional tour with the theme of "Medieval Krakow" and, though I am a hardcore Medievalist, I decided against it as I needed some time to rest. So I sat back, checked my e-mail, did a bunch of reading, and took a nap. After that we had Mass and then went out for dinner. After dinner a bunch of us went with Fr. Williams to play some pool and it was a LOT of fun. I didn't get home till almost 2am. Again, the beauty of being with a Professor is that it is ok to be out past curfew :).

This morning we left for Czestahowa at 9:15. We got there at about 12pm and had a quick lunch. I got a chance to see the Black Madonna. We had a tour guide, but it was only for about 1 hour and then we had about one hour to do our own thing. Needless to say, we didn't get very much time there which is REALLY unfortunate as I would have appreciated the opportunity to pray more there. I also needed a bit of time to run around and get some souvenirs as I had planned for that place to be a place to get some souvenirs and, well, I spent a lot of money on Religious Articles today.

After that we went to a cloistered Dominican Sisters convent for Mass in which Fr. Williams gave a great homily about trusting in God's plan and not always having to search for a reason but to just trust in God's will because He only wills what is good. After that we had dinner at the convent which was delicious and had an opportunity to talk to the Sisters through the grill (since they're cloistered). It was a great joy to see the pure joy (pure as in they really live a purity of heart that is outstading) and it is something I have never really seen before. They were laughing and making jokes all the time and it was great.

On the way back I talked with people on the bus, read something that Fr. Williams gave me to read, and just enjoyed the ride. Upon our return a group of us went to to the square to have ice cream and beer. We came back early tonight because we are all tired and were out late last night.

Tomorrow a bunch of people are going hiking to the Tetra Mountains. I have decided against this as I need to start resting up since I get back to work on the 23rd! Tomorrow I've got 2 plans; go to Mass at 10:30am and do a bit more souvenir shopping. Reading will also be included in the day, but the plan is to simply just relax and take it easy. I have a feeling that the last week is going to include a lot of nights out and so I need to prepare my body for the late nights.

Thanks for the notes everyone! I do hope to hear from you all still. It'll be nice to see you all when I get back! I can't believe I get back into Vancouver on Friday already! It has been going by way too fast. This has been very spiritually relaxing and nourishing, though it has been physically exhausting at times!


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