To my reader(s), I’m sorry there’s been no posting action on here for a little while. I have been occupied with other responsibilities. Since that’s the case, this post is going to be a wee bit of stream of consciousness of seminary life for the last few weeks or months.
My classes are all well underway. I may have already said, but my schedule is very light. Since I started formation (that was for you, Erin) in the middle of a year, I was lacking several prerequisites to take the second semester classes. Some of the classes they allowed me to take without the prerequisites because they are more sequential than actually dependent. So, I’m taking Catechism II, Introduction to the New Testament, and Supervised Pastoral Ministry, and I am sitting in on a Ecclesiastical History class covering the 13th to 17th centuries. The only reason I’m sitting in on that class is that I’m technically not yet in the Theologiate, so I’m not yet eligible for the actual courses for those students. Since I have a small background in history, though, it’s a pretty easy course, and it has been very interesting.
We had our first Liturgical Diversity Weekend a few weeks back. Since February is Black History Month, we all went to a historically black parish here in New Orleans that has a liturgy that in many ways reflected that of evangelical liturgies that developed in the black communities. There was quite a bit of clapping and movement and even that unique gospel organ sound. After communion, one guy even got up to testify unexpectedly. Apparently, he had been very sick and healed miraculously (there was more to it than that, but that’s the gist).
We also celebrated Tet, the Chinese New Year, sponsored by the Vietnamese community here. I must say, the dragons were impressive. I didn’t take out my camera for that night, or I would offer some pictures. Anyway, we has Mass celebrated with some Vietnamese aspects to start the night. I was a bit amused that they handed out sheets with the songs on them – if you don’t know, Vietnamese is not really one of those languages that you can just read along to sing along if you don’t know it at all. I did, after that, get instructions from Ahn Tuan (one of the other seminarians from Nashville) on the different pronunciations of the different O’s in Vietnamese. I had an ulterior motive, though. I wanted to be able to pronounce phở (the Vietnamese soup). For the record, it’s something like “fuh.”
A couple weekends ago, some friend of mine ended up in New Orleans for the weekend. Unfortunately, they were planning to come without even telling me, but, one of them posted on Facebook that they were on Bourbon Street, so I had to call them on it. We ended up managing to get lunch. We went to a place called Napoleon House. If my reader(s) happen to end up going there at some point (and I wouldn’t go out of my way for it), I do highly recommend the gumbo. It was quite tasty. Anyway, I spent a few hours with them, then came home. Yes, I am aware this was the most boring paragraph you have ever read.
I guess the only thing left to bring up is my visit to Florida last weekend. I went to visit a few old friends (well, to be more accurate, I made last minute plans to replace an existing trip to Florida and visited old friends while I was there). The only thing people have been saying to me since I got back is that I look sunburned. There’s a reason for that. I spent a day driving all over Florida in a convertible with the top down. For someone who spends as little time in the sun as I do, that leads to sunburn. Oops. So anyway, I had lunch with Steven and Laura and then dinner with Bill and Su-Lyn. I was pleased to get to introduce Bill and Su-Lyn to Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. They were reluctant at first, but after watching it, they are certainly converts. Sunday, I got to go to Mass at the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe and spend a few hours with Princess before heading back to New Orleans.
Before I end this long and insomnia curing post, I’d like to comment on something that came up from our workshop on the new translation of the Roman Missal Wednesday. One of the lines that has caused some distress since the content of the Missal started being leaked is the change in the translation of the consecration of the cup to read “…shed for you and for many” instead of reading “…shed for you and for all” as it currently does. This is a better rendering by far of the Latin words that we are translating when we make the vernacular (in our case, English) translation of the Missal; the Latin reads, “pro multis.” There have been a lot of theories and commentaries on the reasons for each of these, but one of the best I have encountered came up in this workshop. There are two parts to it. The first is that the reason for the pro multis in the first place is to echo the words used in Isaiah to describe the suffering servant. In Christian belief, Jesus is indeed that suffering servant. The second is that we are doing a disservice by trying to oppose many to all; instead, we need to oppose many to the you that is still in the sentence. The word many is not there to imply any sort of limit, but rather to extend the sacrificial benefit of the blood that is to be shed beyond just those present at the sacrifice. Like Jesus said to his apostles, his blood will be shed for you [the apostles] and for many [more], we are also saying that the precious blood is shed for you [the apostles and Church present at the sacrifice] and for many [more than are present here]. I was pleased with that description.
Well there ya go. I am aware this was a bland entry, but it’s what I have for now. I will try to write a little more frequently so that my reader(s) can keep up better and I can (hopefully) have a little more detail and interesting events instead of broad strokes like this one.