Currently reading: From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age by University of Mary 📚

Class is going well; we're covering a lot of ground but it's a small group (7 folks total), and Fr. Josh is a very engaging teacher. Having picked up a bit of SMA merch, I'll need to swear off any more visits to the bookstore. The to-read pile is fairly well set for the next few months. The gift shop, which is elsewhere (and too far to walk in this heat), is another matter. Will try to roll by there on the way out of town.

St. Meinrad Archabbey Church. Here for the week.

Currently reading: Tu palabra me da vida by Raniero Cantalamessa 📚

Ahora, una cosa diferente

Quiero escribir un poco en Español. Estoy tratando a mejorar mi vocabulario spiritual y al mismo tiempo usar las letras como 'ñ' en Linux. Hablo Español de niño y estudié en la escuela y la universidad. Si estoy ordenado al diácono, naturalmente quiero hablar, leer, y enseñar en dos lenguas. Bueno, ya tengo La Biblia de Jerusalén (por consejo de un sacerdote en nuestra parroquia). También me dijo que leyera libros de Raniero Cantalamessa.

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Just finished the last class of the year - a two-month session on the Old Testament. The teacher was great and I think a lot of us came away with our heads spinning from all the new material.  I'm heading up to St. Meinrad's in a couple of weeks for a  one-week intensive course called Ministry in a Multicultural Context, taught by Fr. Josh Johnson. Maybe it's just the Baader-Meinhof effect, but all of a sudden I'm seeing him pop up all over my various feeds. His assigned readings are Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell, Mother Teresa's  Secret Fire by Joseph Langford, and some articles about his work down in Baton Rouge. I'm almost done with the Langford book and it's been great.  Sherry Weddell's book is a repeat for me - I read it years ago on the Kindle and really liked it. I bought a hard copy that I could mark up and underline.

It's looking like we'll get July off. There's a retreat scheduled for us in August, and it'll end with a Candidacy Mass, marking the formal change from aspirants to candidates. Classes resume directly afterward: Ministry of Deacon (in person) with Early Church History  (online). The syllabus is showing a lot of New Testament stuff for the upcoming year: the Epistles, Synoptics, and a section on the Johannine literature. We'll be closing out with Ecclesiology and Sacraments.

All the kids are out of school, so things are feeling a little more relaxed around the house. Many of the college kids are doing summer courses, as is my wife, who is working through her own post-graduate work - an M.Ed. She's also returning to the classroom this fall, teaching middle-school math at our parish school, and will probably start preparing for that in a month or so.

I've decided not to stress about the vegetable garden. It's very weedy but the tomatoes are still growing and the garlic's about ready to harvest. Blackberries will be coming in soon and the grapevines are going crazy. Crossing my fingers that we'll see some figs this year.  The long game of fruit trees (and perennials generally) seems to be suiting my temperament and bandwidth lately.

Grilled paella - one of our go-tos when we’re feeding a crowd.

Reflecting on Girard

I've been noodling on René Girard's memetic theory of desire for a little while now, and the more I think about it, the more it seems to explain. Here it is, in a hopelessly tiny nutshell. We are, writes Girard, imitative creatures in terms of our desires. We often don't know what we want, so we look to others for cues. Our desires then tend to be triangular: there is the individual, the other person, and the object of their mutual desire.

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Currently reading: The Lonely Man of Faith by Joseph B. Soloveitchik 📚