Some years ago I picked up a copy of the On Being and Essence by St. Thomas Aquinas, tranlated and commented by Joseph Bobik. It cost me $8.95 (CAD) at the used book store, and it was entirely worth it. It took the metaphysics course I had at the seminary, which gave me the basics, and allowed me to penetrate even more deeply into the “Meaning of Being”. It also took me months to read, simply because it was so dense, but every morsel was a meal in itself.Aristotle, in the Metaphysics, wants to study Being in itself, for what it is.
Tonight was the final part of our Advent mission. Fr. Madore preached the first 3 days, as you know already if you’ve been following my blog. Tonight I took over, presiding our Advent reconciliation service. After a brief moment of prayer, a reading, a homily, and an examination of conscience, people had the chance to confess their sins individually to one of 5 priests in attendance.
This was the last evening of our parish mission with Fr. Madore. He preached within the context of a Mass, and since I had already presided Mass this morning (and to be honest, I was extremely tired) I just stayed for the homily. I am glad I did, and didn’t just cop out of the whole thing completely, because he had interesting things to say. I’m not going to repeat everything, so I’ll just tell you about one example that he used: the “parable of the jigsaw puzzle”.
Fr. Madore was back this evening for session #2 of our Advent Mission. The focus tonight was on “journeying through Advent in the footsteps of Mary”.
Our parish began its annual Advent Mission tonight. The mission is being led by Fr. Georges Madore, a Montfortain father whose base is our local shrine. His talk was quite rich in content, so I won’t try and summarize it here. I got a lot out of it, some a bit more personal than I’d care to share in a web log, but one reflection that struck me as very pertinent.
Last Saturday I went out with my friend Gord for some Indian food (mmmm….curry), and we got to talking about the power of prayer. Gord was a bit skeptical, and speculated that intercessiory prayer was really a bit of a cop out. His argument (and I hope I am doing it justice here) was that since God already knows everything, and we don’t, our prayer is really about making ourselves feel better, but doesn’t have any real effects since God already knows everything anyway.
Those who know me know that I am a big fan of St. John of the Cross. A few years back I found myself in somewhat of a “dark night” experience, and it was only with St. John at my side that I was able to make sense of what was going on.
When I was a seminarian in 2000 (January to April) I was assigned to Our Lady of Pompei parish to have a “cultural experience” in an Italian environment (my Italian was a lot better back then). As part of the pastoral placement I joined their young adult group (the aforementioned VISTA). Since then I have had a couple of their members as students in my class, and I have been invited to go and speak to them. Here is an extract from the email I got from them regarding the subject they wanted covered:
Well today was my last class for the term (for those who don’t know, I teach “Introduction to Theological Studies” at Concordia University in Montreal). At the end of the class, after everyone else had left, one student came up to me to offer her thanks for what was (for her) a positive learning experience (or, as she put it, “Thanks for an amazing course!”). This was very flattering, and is good news for our department.
A few months ago I got an email from a friend of mine:
[My boyfriend and I] went to Easter mass together and afterwards he asked me WHY Catholics receive Eucharist? Why do we "eat the body".... and although I understand that Jesus asked us to during the last super I'm kinda at a loss for explaining beyond that point. Why was it important for Jesus to offer us Eucharist?
Here are four key points to keep in mind when approaching this question.
POINT #1: The Mass is a "memorial"