Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

10 April 2013

The Spice of Life

Today the eighth graders were subjected treated to a presentation on Saint Thomas Aquinas: his early life, his intellectual formation, and his contributions to Catholic thought.

I wish I had my phone so that I could take a picture of the whiteboard to show you, patient readers, all that we talked about.  Reconstruction from memory is fairly reliable: Thomas' noble birth, his family's distaste for his vocation to the Dominicans (his parents imprisoned him for 15 months in a futile attempt to dissuade him), his education under St. Albert the Great, the compilation of the Catena Aurea, the Summa Contra Gentiles and the Summa Theologiae, and especially the mihi videtur ut palea incident of 1273.  You know that one, where a spiritual experience moved Thomas to stop writing because it all seemed to him "like straw."  And his obedience to the Pope who had asked him to travel to the Council of Lyons as a theological expert...which he never got to do, because he died en route.

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight a long time
The presentation seemed to go well.  It helped that the teacher was in the room, and many of the students just had gym class, which tuckered them out.  Before I left the classroom, one of the boys came up to me and asked me some questions about the origin of my interest in the priesthood, and what I was like at their age.  Encounters like that are what it's all about.  I suspect that not so many priests get to chat with kids, because we're afraid, or "too busy," or whatever.  How else will they learn what a priest is like, so that they might possibly consider themselves as potential candidates?

From there it was off to the Seniors Club meeting, where my ministry includes pulling the winning tickets for the 50/50 raffle, being an occasional musical act, and catching up with people whom I have visited in the hospital, or whose spouses I've buried since coming to this parish a little over five years ago.  To think that I left last month's meeting to watch the election of the Pope with a few elderly parishioners!

Add to that a handful of phone calls, hospital visits, and some clerical work (in the other, more typical sense: reorganizing instructional materials), and seal it with a kiss (the 7:30am Mass), and you have a day in the life of a parish priest.

The variety of people and circumstances in the diocesan priesthood was a major selling point for me, not to mention the idea that the priests I knew were wise, intelligent, humorous, considerate, and happy men...all the qualities I wanted for myself.

If I can exercise most of those qualities most of the time, for God's glory and for the good of souls, bueno!

1 comment:

  1. Fares told me you are coming soon to their class. She said she loves when you visit - you are apparently "very funny," "zone out sometimes," and you cover the ENTIRE white board with notes!!!