I’m now midway through the third year of formation. I submitted my final assignment for the last course and still have a fair amount of runway for the next course’s assignments. Reader, I am enjoying a nice break. Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent it the best way possible: mostly laying on the couch and reading. I started the day assisting at the 7AM daily mass, and ended it having dinner with my wife in an excellent little restaurant.
Reviewing the last few years of studies - I seem to come across one Big Idea every year. Some writer or concept that is mostly (if not entirely) brand-new and also sort of splits time into ‘before I knew this’ and ‘after I knew this.’ In the first year, it was René Girard’s theory of desire. In the second year, I went deep into Cassian’s Conferences and Institutes, and came away with a much deeper appreciation of the psychological insights of the desert movement. This past year, it was Charles Taylor’s work. One of my classes used James K.A. Smith’s How (Not) to be Secular, a whirlwind tour of Taylor’s A Secular Age. I received a copy of Taylor’s full book as a gift and can’t wait to get into it. There are apparently other books delayed but en route so I think my (leisure) reading time is pretty covered for a while to come.
The remainder of this academic year will cover the Church in America, a second round of catechetics, and the Eucharist. That last one will be taught by our vocations director (who has an STL and is now working on his JCL tl;dr, he’s wicked smart). He led our sacraments class, and to say it was rigorous is putting it mildly. I expect the same in this next class.