Rejoice in suffering

Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Back in 1951 (I had to look that part up), Salvador Dali painted a view of the crucifixion called Christ of Saint John of the Cross (that’s the painting at the beginning of this post). This was unique among art depicting the crucifixion of Christ because it was presented from the perspective of God looking down on the cross rather than the worshipper looking up at the cross. It actually seriously offended some people so much that one man, angry at the idea of usurping God’s perspective, hurled a brick at the painting while it was on display in Scotland at it’s permanent home. Now I can certainly see where this objection could arise, but I also think that it is overstated. Such a point of view can lead to some real reflection, and I tried to spend some time on that earlier this week. God was, obviously, looking down on the events as they unfolded. Even though God, in His Eternal Now, was already living those same events at all points in history – indeed, each time we celebrate the Mass, those events unfold again in the sacrament. From a human perspective, that bloody sacrifice happened once so that it could have a lasting effect. I don’t want to go wandering into that theology at the moment, though. I’m more interested at this moment in the events of the actual crucifixion in human history and how those events were perceived by God. Continue reading “Rejoice in suffering”

My first retreat as a seminarian

Well, I went on a retreat last week. It was a different retreat than I’ve ever been on before. This was a preached retreat, but, other than the preaching itself (and Mass, Office, etc), the retreat was in silence. So I was basically in silence from Tuesday evening until Saturday night. That was a challenge at many points, but it was also illuminating. It proved a wonderful transition into the deeper spiritual life of the seminary. In this post, I want to share some of my thoughts and a few excerpts from my journal on the retreat. It may be a bit disjointed. I’m not sure there’s an elegant way to weave all of them together without wasting piles of space trying to artificially link things together. Continue reading “My first retreat as a seminarian”

Arrived and unpacked… mostly

Well, I arrived at the seminary on Friday morning. I left Red Boiling Springs Thursday just before noon, and spent the night in a Motel 6 in Slidell, LA before driving the last half hour or so Friday morning. I had to spend the night so close just because I had to arrive at the seminary during business hours to get in. Now, though, I have a key, and I know my way around, so I can come and go as I please – although I don’t do much coming or going. Continue reading “Arrived and unpacked… mostly”

Vocaaaaaareeeeeeeeee (in a Dean Martin Voice)

People have asked me on several occasions why I want to be a priest. They want to know how I know it’s right for me. Well, I don’t know that it’s right for me. I read once that various Bishops have said that “No man knows he’s called to be a priest until I place my hands on his head.” So, for now, I can’t truly say that I’m 100% on this, but I’m confident that it’s where I need to follow next. Continue reading “Vocaaaaaareeeeeeeeee (in a Dean Martin Voice)”