Monday, 26 March 2007
These last few days we've been busy panicking about our essays due today and finding distractions to keep us from doing them.The essays, the fifth out of six during the year, are on the Ten Commandments. 'If you were God which commandment would you leave out and why?' No, not really... We are writing on how the commandments place negative restrictions on deeds which weaken love, while at the same time promoting virtues which lead to love of God, neighbour and self. I got the idea for my essay from Fr. Stephen Langridge who talked to us about Evangelium Vitae, perfect for illustrating how the 5th commandment both prohibits the deliberate killing of innocent life while at the same time promoting a culture of life based on charity and justice. Cheers Fr. Stephen! This last week we also had a lecture from Fr. Angelus of the Friars of the Renewal on 'Spiritual Warfare', and our Catechism lecturer Fr. Francis Selman gave us a break and told us about the paintings in the Sistine chapel, as well as running through the liturgy of the Mass with us. On Friday we led Stations of the Cross for the final time, and then heard a wonderful Theology of the Body talk from Jane Deegan, a mother of three, on the spiritual battle in the sexual life of married couples. She illustrated some of her points using the story of a married couple she knew; the woman had been sexually abused and the man had been addicted to pornography, and though both were married in the Church they struggled for many years with the past, unable to fully give themselves in love and falling into their previous fears and addictions. It wasn't until the wife started praying for her husband, and then some time later the husband for his wife, that they began to realise true and unselfish love for one another. One question that Fr. Alex put to Jane and which no one seemed able to answer adequately was the question how do we convince non-Christians and even many Christians that sacramental marriage is superior to merely cohabitating with the promise to remain faithful to one another? Any answers you could send would be appreciated. On Saturday was Rachel's birthday. Rachel was a student of SPES last year, and now helps Fr. Alex as pastoral assistant, running Theology of the Body among many other things and generally qualifying for martyrdom. May she qualify for many years yet. Tonight we had the opportunity of eating dinner with some of the members of the Gospel choir that sing for 5.00 Mass. Led by Miko, the choir was originally invited by Fr. Alex to lead the music of the Mass in an attempt to bring young people to the Church, and now there is a fair number that come every week. It's not hard to see why. When we sang night prayer after dinner the choir members improvised a beautiful harmonized version of the opening hymn 'Now thank we all our God' that was undoubtedly a Gospel rendition yet with all the reverent awe of the traditional Lutheran original. Okay, back to the essay.
Posted by Oscott Seminarians at 1:06 am