Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday, July 11th

Hey everyone.

So this morning started off with Mass which meant having to wake up a bit earlier then usual. We usual have Mass at 6pm, but had to have it at the start of the day because of our trip to the Salt Mines later on in the day. The priest was talking about work and prayer (being the feast of St Benedict today) and he ended his homily with a phrase on a plaque of a friend of his "God's coming, look busy". I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyways, after that we started our first lecture with Fr. Thomas Williams. He is the Dean of Theology at the Legionnaries of Christ University (name is skipping my mind at the moment) in Rome. He is an awesome guy. VERY personable and very smart and just very fun, we had some great conversations today. Anyways, his area of specialization is human rights. He began what he had to say about them in the first lecture today and they were pretty insightful. I know, too, that he will continue to build, that it takes a bit of time. Anyways, the more I hear Latin distinctions, it makes me realize how much I need to learn the language in its fulness. The idea that the word that is lating for "duty" is the same word for "debt" is really cool. Anyways, it will be very interesting to see what he has to say in regards to human rights.

The second lecture was alright. Fr. Maciej is a very smart man (was listed by the Communists as the 8th most dangerous intellectual in Poland). However, though I know he fully understands English, when he speaks it, it is a bit broken and so it is tough to get some serious stuff out of it. Thankfully most of the info is on the power point slides he uses so that helped. Today he talked about the nature of "ideology" and how the Church is not an ideology. It sparked a discussion among us about how much morality the State is allowed to legislate which many of us continued over lunch. Some of us then talked about the idea of the nature of beauty and a Theology of Aesthetics and how they are both essential to the nature and mission of the Church and how we have gotten away from that. My brain is getting filled with good conversations and lectures to say the least!

After that we headed to the Salt Mines. It was pretty much the same as before, but was neat to see. We then went for dinner and we had perhaps the greatest pork I have ever had. There were great conversations at the table and Fr. Williams and I were cutting down Notre Dame a lot (Meredith, one of the students, went there). It was a lot of fun.

One other thing I did today was spout off my idea about the relation between the Incarnation and God's creative act. It received a relatively great reception from the people I proposed it to and they said it was an interesting idea, so it is something I am hopefully going to continue to pursue over the next couple of years (it will take a lot of research!).

That's it for now, I am going to relax for the last small bit of the evening and read and then hit the sack. Tomorrow Fr. Neuhaus gives his first lecture and I am extremely excited for it. By the way, by Friday, I should have gone through both notepads and for the last week will probably have to resort to my spare paper that I brought with me (thanks be to God for that!).

Hope all is well with you all!


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