Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Papa

Today I saw Pope Benedict XVI!

He was offering Mass in St. Peter's for people involved in the New Evangelization, which is this movement to bring back Catholicism to places that have been Catholic but are loosing the Faith. Through some connecitons, I and some fellow students were able to go to the Mass and get seats toward the front, right on the edge of hte aisle. Since we were on the edge of the aisle, we saw Pope Benedict when he processed to the alter for Mass, only an arm's reach away.

I had spent yesterday afternoon writing a letter to Papa, and as he went by, I was able to give it to one of his guards. So the guard will give him my letter, if he has not already given it to him!

From my seat, I could see the entire Mass and see the Pope concecrate the host and wine. After the Mass, the Pope processed back down the aisle, and for the trillionth of a second, he looked at me.

Afterwards we went into the Piazza and prayed the Angelus with the Pope, and the Pope spoke short messages in different languages. The message in english was about the necessity of fulfilling our duties.

I wish there is more I could say, but beyond the bare facts of the event, nothing can be expressed with mere words.

Papa, we love you and pray for you with all our hearts!

Friday, September 30, 2011

This Is Not My Country

Rome is a life-changing place to be. I say that because I am here, now, in Rome; every sophomore of TMC goes to Rome for a semester, and I am here in the Fall Semester. I don't have much time to blog, which is kind of obvious considering how rarely I post anymore, but I thought I would take a few minutes to share something of my experince in Rome so far.

Rome is not my country, but it is my home. It is at times very difficult to be here: I am not a city person at all, and while riding the sweaty busses amidst the chaos of voices in languages I cannot understand and the honking of passing ambulences (there is an odd abundance of honking abulences in Rome), I miss the forested hiddeness of my beloved New Hampshire.

But that is only a fleeting sensation. What stays with me is the fact that I am surrounded by churches of unserpassable beauty, and that God is always so near. St. Peter's is always only a short trip away, and the Tiber curves gracefully through all my trampings. The cobblestone streets meander through the delightful neighborhood of trastevere, where one is always popping into piazzas. Culture and history imbue every stone, and the wine is fantastic. It is sometimes too tremendous to wrap my mind around, and that makes it all the better.

I thank God for this opportunity. I hope to post some more later on about my upcoming adventures in and out of Rome.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Man and Woman

A few months ago I was talking to one of the Senior guys at TMC. The conversation came to be about boyhood and manhood. He said that he thought that manhood was about Gentle Strength. He said he thought that Jesus' Crowning with Thorns was an example of this~ Jesus possessing the power of God, yet allowing Himself be treated like scum. His strength was not so shallow that it exploded constantly from Him, like a tyrant. And He was not so weak that He could not have defended Himself.

I suggested that maybe womanhood is about Strong Gentleness. Mary, for example, is incredibly strong, the way she handles all that she must suffer. But her strength is never without gentleness. She is never pushy, never demanding of people. But neither is her gentleness, which defines her as being feminine, without strength. Consider her conversation with Christ, when she spoke with gentleness fortified with strength.

Man and Woman: Each is beautiful; each is powerful; neither can survive without the other.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Golden and Green

All golden and green
were the secret pond's pebbles,
glittering in sacred glory.
And we all ran down
where the rocks rose up,
splashed in divine white foam.
Our dirty feet
were surrounded by foam,
our eyes drinking in the light
as it sparkled untempered
on the secret pond's pebbles
all golden and green, golden and green.

Free stretched the sky
in unending blue,
unlimited by lazy clouds.
And the air was filled
with a sweet fresh roar:
the water pounded, dancing down
in a thunderous, delicate fall.
Years of forever here are captured
in rushing, unbroken waters.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fight for Premicy

So I was thinking while enjoying the first few days of summer vacation~ philosophers, particularly ones like Seneca, say a lot about thought ruling emotion. And if you talk to just aobut any TMC student on the topic, they will say that yes, reason is supposed to rule over reason. And it makes sense, but WHY?
I mean, why is the ideal not to have emotions rule thought? And it occured to me while cleaming up campus for the seniors' graduation tomorrow afternoon that it is because the universal is supposed to rule over the particular.
This pattern of universal over particular is everywhere that is orderly. Consider the universe. The universal laws of nature and motion rule, and each particular case follows those rules, though with some exceptions. Or in art, ther are universal prinicples, and each peice of true and real art follows those principles, with some exceptions. That is why whenever we want to learn something, we start by observation of the immediate particulars which we sense. But we always move on to the universal principle, so that we can apply our knowledge about what we sense even to things which we have not sensed.
Thought and emotion follow in this pattern in that by thought we perceive and come to understand the universal principles. Emotions, on the other hand, are what make us alive in a particularly human way to each particular situation.
So thoughts, well reasoned thought, ought to be the guiding principle. By thought we understand a situation, analyze it, classify it and so discover how to handle it according to the modes of acting appropriate to the categoryunder which it falls.
Emotions are much more particular to the situation and personality of each person. They fluxuate with the slightest of details, so they do not have the same semi-reliable reliability that thought has. Emotions, rather, make us acutely aware and alive to what is going on around us in each particular situation, but they cannot guide us to the ruling universal principle as thought can.
So that, at least, is my theory as to Why it is better, in the fight for primacy, for thought to win over emotion.

Twixt Lowly Earth and Fiery Sky

Twixt lowly earth and fiery sky
runs the winding coarse of man.
From east to west the sun doth ride
over the shifting, changing land.

All the fires that burn to ash
and all the hills that falll to rubble
upon the decaying, drying earth,
all the trees that rot to stubble~

Death is all their end entails.
Death is all that comes of earth.
Not so for man, not so:
For him the Creator suffered birth.

Twixt lowly earth and fiery sky
till all was conquered and set right
ran the bounding coarse of Christ
that all the earth may be alight.

Changeless as the turning stars,
God's own love more changeless still
bides unto eternity,
each man's lonely heart to fill.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Drinking Song

To much wine, I think, my dear
is wrong, you know, is wrong.
But just a little more for cheer
cannot be wrong, oh no!
You'll forgive me, I'm sure, my dear.
I drink, you know, to you.
I drink to all who have no fear
on all their escapades;
To those with loves ones near
and those so far away;
To those who hope to steer
mankind to his right end.
So I pour once more, my dear
into my little cup.
And I drink to German bear,
that holds our wild minds sane;
To all that remains so pure
despite man's devilish work;
To all that is, and my dear,
to what never shall be.
And now at last, I am here,
having trecked the long way
From the pub to you, my dear,
along reeling wild roads
Under a spinning moon~ "Here
I am, my spotless bride,
I've made it back to thee. Hear
my shout, for here I stay.
So open the door, my dear."

Monday, February 28, 2011

'I Do Not Know' Includes Hope For Happiness

Right now I have no idea when I will see either of my two best friends again. But it came to my mind while I was taking a test in Ancient Greek class a few minutes ago that not knowing includes hope for happiness. Suppose I did know that I would not see either of them until Christmas 2011. Then I would know exactly how many days lay between now and happiness. And I would begin the slowly treading countdown and be one of the most miserable students at TMC. But since I do not know, I am forced to take each minute one at a time and simply hope.
This is rather the same thing with Heaven. We haven't the slightest idea when we shall see our God. We have no idea when we shall pass through death which will free us into needing hope no longer.
Suppose we knew when our deaths would be- then our hope would not have the same eternal quality about it. It would be limited by time, i.e.: "I hope that by the day I die, 54 1/2 days from now, I shall be purged of all sin." But instead our hope is not confined within the set number of days we have yet to live. Our hope is light that shines upwards beyond the confines of time and gravity into the depths of eternity.