A philosopher and a theologian  walk into a bar

I think you’re going to start seeing more of me.

I started this blog after I had begun to work on applying and attending seminary, but a few years before I finally applied and was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Nashville. At the beginning, it was a bit of a catharsis to deal with some challenges in my life at the time. I also thought it would be a fun hobby and keep me busy.

An HDR shot of Notre Dame Seminary at night. This has been my home to prepare for the priesthood for the last 3 1/2 years and the next three.
An HDR shot of Notre Dame Seminary at night. This has been my home to prepare for the priesthood for the last 3 1/2 years and the next three.

Time went on with spurious posts, and I packed up and came to seminary. I thought “Great! I’m a seminarian! There’ll be constant stuff to write about from classes and seminary life. I’ll have an active and exciting blog.” Turns out, seminary life is, for the most part, pretty mundane. I do a lot of praying, a lot of class time, a lot of studying, and after that, I am often so exhausted that there’s not much fun to be had – and there’s sometimes far too little energy to go writing a blog entry about the boring things that have kept me busy.

This is me being instituted to the Ministry of Lector for the Church two years ago. In a few weeks, I will be instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte. The next step after that is Candidacy and Holy Orders. It's getting real.
This is me being instituted to the Ministry of Lector for the Church two years ago. In a few weeks, I will be instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte. The next step after that is Candidacy and Holy Orders. It’s getting real.

thought that the content and discussions of my classes would provide endless fodder for blog material and reflections. There was a problem with that theory, too, though. The first two years of seminary were spent studying philosophy. Don’t get me wrong, the classes have been fascinating, and I have learned more than I can even express. I sometimes surprise myself with how much I understand that I didn’t when I arrived. My studies in philosophy have also provided me several level-ups in geek points, so I can describe the cheesy fries at Cooter Brown’s (one of my preferred burger and beer joints in NOLA) as being “in full act,” that is to say, if God were a side dish, he would be these cheesy fries. Don’t worry if you don’t get it; that just means that you are normal and not intentionally the level of nerd that I am. However, if you are in New Orleans, I highly recommend a visit to Cooter Browns for a burger, cheesy fries, and some beer.

Anyway, here’s the problem with my idea that all this would provide blog content: Most of my readers wouldn’t understand the stuff I’d write, and it wouldn’t directly relate them them in a clear and direct way. Furthermore, those that would want to read a blog entry about The Ontological Account of Self-Consciousness in Aristotle and Aquinas (that’s an actual journal article title) could find a few dozen better blogs or authors to read – stuff from real philosophers, not just a seminarian who has two years education in the field under his belt.

Now, though, now I’m in year four of seminary. I didn’t think about this, but I could have started this last year, too. Now, I’m studying theology. We needed the philosophy because a proper understanding of metaphysics and the language used in philosophy is necessary for the successful study of theology; that’s why the Church requires at least two years of philosophy before we set off on theology. But, in most people’s lives, the theology studies are what are going to be speaking the language that relates to what they need to hear.

Before Mass to be instituted to the Ministry of Lector for the Church two years ago. In a few weeks, I will be instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte. The next step after that is Candidacy and Holy Orders. It's getting real.
Before Mass to be instituted to the Ministry of Lector for the Church two years ago. In a few weeks, I will be instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte. The next step after that is Candidacy and Holy Orders. It’s getting real.

So, the short version: In addition to the other prompts that have given me content over the last week or two, I intend to add some reflections built from the coursework here at the seminary. Hopefully, I won’t misrepresent what my instructors say too badly. Hopefully I won’t set myself up to be called a heretic with questions with which I may wrestle in blog entries and reflections. If I say something that you think contradicts something that the Catholic Church teaches, please check the disclaimer below, and don’t hold it against her, then, leave a comment or drop me a line through the contact me form, and let me know. I want to be true to the teachings of the Church as well as provide an outlet for my own thoughts and share some reflections that are coming up in the course of my formation.

I hope you come back to see what I have to say as the next few years go on.

One Reply to “A philosopher and a theologian  walk into a bar”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *