Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

28 March 2009

Benedict and AIDS

Recently Pope Benedict received a lot of bad press for his supposedly naive view of AIDS prevention in Africa. One of my brother Jesuits, Michael Czerny, director of the Society's efforts for AIDS prevention in Africa wrote a wonderful piece contextualizing the Pope's comments both in the African scene and the larger Christian vision of reality. Here's a small snippet:

This [Christian] sexuality is based on faith in God, respect for oneself and the other, and hope for the future. Compare this vision with reliance on condoms. Everyone must recognise that ‘condoms all the time for everyone’ goes with a notion of ‘sex as fun without consequences’. Deep down, we know what a lie that is. It means treating another human being as a vehicle for my own pleasure. As public policy, it is to treat people as rapacious, unable to control themselves, incapable of anything beyond immediate self-gratification. Such an attitude is horribly pessimistic about humankind in general and, when imposed by public and international agencies on Africans, it also represents unconscious but abhorrent racism. This is not a route that the Church can take.
You can find the rest of the article at Thinking Faith. The whole thing is well worth a read. For more on the Society of Jesus' work to combat AIDS in Africa check out AJAN (African Jesuit AIDS Network). AMDG

16 March 2009

Templeton Day

The good people at the Templeton Foundation announced the 2009 winner of the Templeton Prize today: Bernard d’Espagnat, physicist and philosopher of science. The prize is awarded to, "a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works." Previous winners include such luminaries as: Charles Taylor, John Polkinghorne, Paul Davies, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and (Blessed) Mother Teresa. Check out the the prize website for more details.

09 March 2009

Stem Cells

Today President Obama lifted the ban on Federal money for stem cell research. Needless to say I disagree vigorously with the President's decision.

Slate Magazine posted an interesting article on matter entitled: Winning Smugly by William Saletan. Saletan juxtaposes the Bush administrations arguments for torture with Obama arguments for embreyo exploitation. It's hardly a full bore pro-life argument but it does raise some uncomfortable moral questions which are worth pondering.

AMDG

Jesuit Commercials

Drew Marquard SJ, a Jesuit in First Studies at Fordham University produced these Jesuit Mock commercials. I think they're pretty amusing.

Garbage Man



The 25th Date



The Naval Officer



The Author



AMDG

01 March 2009

Busy Semester

Yes, I'm still alive. This semester has turned out to be my busiest so far. I'm taking Philosophy of Action, Plato, Sacramental Theology, and just for kicks a Chemistry class with lab. I've found doing some basic science is a good mental break from all the "higher level" philosophy and theology that takes up most of my time. It's nice once and a while to just sit down to a problem set that has definite answers--at least theoretically definite. Well let's just call them probable answer in reality but definite according to a certain formalism. That's the problem with philosophy, it's hard to escape even in Chemistry class.

In addition to the four classes, I've also been volunteering with the chaplaincy department at Loyola University Hospital once a week. So far I've been bringing communion to patients and helping with some initial pastoral visits. Between classes, ministry, and keeping up with things around the community all the hours in the day seem to be pretty well accounted for. Thankfully I'm enjoying the busyness.

Currently Loyola is on Spring Break. For me this means time to get term papers underway. I am taking the opportunity to see a few concerts as well. This afternoon Hilary Hahn gave a wonderful recital at Symphony Center here in Chicago. The program included two of Ysaye's lovely sonatas for solo violin, 4 and 6, two sonatas by Ives, 2 and 4, some Hungarian Dances by Brahms, and some Romanian Dances by Bartok. All in all an excellent way to spend the afternoon. I've heard Ms. Hahn in concert previously but this was the first time playing chamber work. She is an amazingly versitile artist to go from the great Romantic concertos with full orchestra to sensitive solo pieces and aquite herself beautifully with both. Tomorrow is Mozart's Abduction from Seraglio at Lyric. Then the rest of the week is a whole lot of studying.