Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

30 July 2007

Nifty Article

I want to pass along this nifty little article in The Christian Century about dealing with "The New Atheists".

Vows etc...

I'm just back from a whirlwind trip including pilgrimage, a wedding, and vows. Tomorrow I head up to villa (vacation) with the other guys in formation a little north of Traverse City. I won't have much Internet access while there so I thought I would write a quick post now.

The past week and a half has been truly grace filled. My pilgrimage went better than I could possibly have planned it. I'm very grateful for to Fr. Andrew, Gonzaga High and Loyola retreat house for hosting me. And to my friends in Forest Glen for letting me crash at their place after pilgrimage was over.

Erin and Rick's wedding on Saturday at CUA was beautiful. I pray they will have many happy years together. They are a couple that give me a lot of hope for the future. (Hopefully I'll have some pictures from the to post soon.)

Finally this morning I was in Nashville for the profession of Sr. Beatrice, who is pictured with me. Sr. Beatrice, formerly known as Jillian, is a dear friend from CUA, a woman of great kindness, wisdom, and holiness. The vows ceremony radiated joy, it was truly something to behold. I was humbled in the presence of such great grace.

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19 July 2007

Detroit Briefly

I'm back in Detroit after a whirlwind trip from Denver. We left Denver early Saturday morning and drove north to Mt. Rushmore. This was my first time in South Dakota and it seemed like a good idea to check out the American icons. We stopped in a delightful little fast food restaurant called the Chuck Wagon, I'm still inordinately amused by the name. South Dakota is beef country so despite my increasingly vegetarian sentiments I enjoyed a delightful burger, clearly very fresh.

We spent two days at St. Francis Mission in Rosebud, South Dakota. The Society has served on this reservation since 1881. Rosebud is just about as remote a place as you can find in the lower forty-eight. It's so remote the postal service doesn't recognize the roads there and neither does Google maps. Needless to say we got pretty lost as a result of this, I took some consolation in the fact that the difference between a nine hour trip and a ten hour trip is not that great taken as a percentage. A lame argument I know, but it worked at the time.

Sunday we attended Mass at the mission then visited Badlands National Park. The Badlands are the ultimate example of someplace I like to visit but would not want to live.They're beautiful but rugged. Formed by erosion over millions of years, they're an example of the battle between rock and water, water always wins. Somewhere there's a spiritual lesson about the victory of movement over stagnancy to be found in this.

Monday we took off from St. Francis mission before the sun came up on our way to Waupaca, a little Jesuit house in Wisconsin a few hours north of Milwaukee. On our way the guys at the St. Paul novitiate had us over for dinner.

Tuesday we arrived back in Detroit after an unexpectedly long trip due to major traffic. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Tomorrow begins my pilgrimage. In keeping with the example of St. Ignatius, Jesuit novices go through some sort of pilgrimage experience. Pilgrimage take different forms for different people depending on their abilities and desires. The common thread is a journey of abandonment to God seeing the Spirit in concrete ways. For my pilgrimage I'm taking the bus to Washington and bumming around for five days. I'm not really sure where I'll stay or what I'll do but God will provide.

On Thursday, I'm switching out of pilgrimage mode into travel mode. Any DC friends that want to meet up, I'll be around Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning.


06 July 2007

Jesuits and the Arts

"Ugliness is not a virtue boys!" -Fr. Tom Lucas, SJ

Week three of the Jesuit history course is on Jesuits and the Arts. Tom Lucus of University of San Francisco lead us through the fascinating history the Society of Jesus' engagement with arts and culture from its founding to present. Perhaps the most important contribution of the Society to arts is its emphasis on interculteration, taking a preexisting artistic tradition and baptizing it. Blending the best of two traditions. One contemporary example of this is Shanghai Cathedral.

The other major contribution of the Society of Jesus to the arts is its role in spreading Baroque architecture. The Jesuit mother Church, the Gesu, is an early example of Baroque architecture, which proved to be highly influential in subsequent eccelsial design.

The icon above is Maddonna della Strada (Our Lady of the Way) patroness of the Society of Jesus. The original icon is displayed in the Gesu in Rome.