Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reading Buddy

Lectio Divina

... the power of a life that cannot be destroyed....

Hebrews 7:16


My theologian friends have come through! I am now their reading buddy, studying what they are studying (on my personal time, of course).

One doctoral student friend is beginning to study Augustine. Her course is beginning with the patristic writers and their theologies on the body. From her I received PDF documents excerpting works by Origen and Tertullian on resurrection and the body; the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla of the second century; the Symposium by Saint Methodius, and two articles of recent commentary on the history of the body in Christian theology.

The other doctoral student friend is a teaching assistant in a course on the practices of Christian faith. She sent me selected chapters from James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2011).

Still plowing through Mumford when I can. Keeping up with the periodicals, too.


Been a few days since I posted, the first long lapse in a while. No need to be alarmed, readers: keeping offline has become more natural to me than being online.

This week, we studied the documents of the plenary councils of the Capuchin order. These are meetings that have occurred once every few years in between the general chapters of the order. They are smaller in size and scope than the general chapter, in which a minister general and board of definitors is elected to govern the global order, and major policies affecting our way of life can be enacted. In the plenary council, of which there have been seven since the Second Vatican Council, a group of about forty delegates examine one facet of Capuchin life in detail and create a document summarizing perspectives on the subject at hand. The most recent plenary councils, held in Assisi in 1998 and 2004, respectively addressed fraternal life in its aspects of poverty and minority, which are really two sides of the same coin, and issued propositions for action. The impetus for these two plenary councils was building global solidarity within the order, addressing, among other things, the growth of the order into a truly international fraternity, and the increasing disparities between materially rich but numerically dwindling provinces in developed nations and materially lacking but vocationally booming provinces in developing nations.

There is more to ponder in these documents than I can relate to you here. But if you would like to read these practical, quietly radical, and inspiring documents, go here and select "Living Poverty in Brotherhood" and "Our Fraternal Life in Minority."

Today, after Mass and morning prayer, went to Santa Maria to celebrate the birthday of one of the novice brothers at the only Korean restaurant in Santa Barbara County. A good time was had by all. This afternoon, putting some finishing touches on the February novitiate newsletter, but it's not done yet. This evening, resuming our birthday celebrations with the whole fraternity. My vegan chocolate banana cheesecake will make things that much sweeter.


The rains are heavy, the sky is moody. I've been moody, but less so today. Aiming to be pensive without being oppressive.

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