Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's lost sheep.

Today I decided to start the Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila during holy hour. This may have something to do with her feast coming up on Wednesday as well as my own personal devotion to her. This book, by one of our great Doctors of the Church, is a classic source of spiritual insight, and I have been wanting to dive into it for some time. I guess what struck me was how awesome and beautiful the soul should be - how incomprehensible the soul really is compared to modern thought. Teresa really impressed upon me, that because we bear God's image, our soul is spectacular and more than we usually consider. How romantic she thought of herself within that context.

I was considering later this afternoon on the way to lunch this "innate beauty", which made me think of a conversation I had overheard in a school lunch line a few days ago. This conversation between two students at St. Thomas, consisted of parties and bars involving large amounts of binge drinking. This girl retold her story of the night before, giving "body shots" (Lord knows?) to more than one guy whilst her envious "boyfriend" was there watching. This conversation was quite disturbing, and I was beside myself trying to decide whether or not to say anything, or even what I would say as I was waiting for my sandwich. Certainly I look back, and what I wish I had said was something very different than the silence I maintained. Doesn't this girl realize that she has a beautiful soul. Is she not worth much, much, more than that? The answer to that question is obvious, but it's harder to consider the consequences of this and how widespread this lack of understanding.

Teresa talks about self knowledge that we need find and its only through our Lord that we can truly know ourselves. How can this girl know who she is and how beautiful she is without knowing God or somebody telling her her own divine worth. I think part of knowing God is knowing one's beauty in one's own soul. Who's to teach that? The uniqueness, and the delightful beauty, which images our creator? Many people if not most, it seems, do not reach this level of inward reflection and soul seeking. They never consider the type of life they ought to live. These are the lost sheep or the sleeping virgins who did not fill their lamps while waiting for the bridegroom. I wonder how much is really their own fault (and God only knows how to judge such persons). Maybe it's up to us; people are oftentimes asleep needing shepherds to awaken them, I suppose.

Until next time,



Adoro te Devote said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. It IS hard to know what to say to people living that kind of life. I used to be one of those people...maybe not quite to that particular extreme (body shots were not the rage when I was in the bar scene). But I didn't understand the beauty or importance of the soul, I thought that what I was doing was "self respect" because that's how the world defines "respect". To be honest, maybe those who spoke the loudest were those who lived by example, and it was they who seemed to have peace, and they who had real confidance.

As a side note, after next weekend's class (Ave Maria University) I'll be beginning Interior Castle as required reading for class. However, currently I'm reading St. Catherine of Siena's Dialogues...and that, too, is quite the treatise on the soul! If you get a chance, I can't recommend it highly enough!

Don said...

"her own divine worth"

Gungada Gungada!

Might wanna rephrase that, bud.

Anonymous said...

"Gungada Gungada!" What in the world? Please explain.

As to divine worth. There's nothing wrong with it. The tradition is replete with spiritual masters speaking of our being made like God and even calling this "divinization" - i.e. being made godlike. As well, tidbit of information for you, that's why the Nicene Creed says, "True God from True God" as opposed to "God from God". Why? Any of us could be said to be "god from God" because in a way, our bearing His image, we are gods. Ain't that amazing? And this only underscores the whole message of Michael's post.

Adoro te Devote said...

What was the Saint and the quote...."God became Man so that Man could become like God"?

New Agers will take that out of context and off the rails, but we DO have a divine nature, being in the image and likeness of God; a nature that has been corrupted by sin. But we participate in God's own Divinity as that is how He created us.

It doesn't mean we become God or become fully Divine, but it is a PARTICIPATION in that Divinity.

This IS hard to explain and understand, isn't it? Philosophy isn't my gift. Or my education...

Don said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don said...

I stand connected.

The kids in Duluth use Gungada as a catch all phrase for pagan stuff. I think one of them saw a youtube video once of a Hindu guy in a trance or something chanting "agungada gungada gungada gaeeee..."
It stuck and we use it to tease.

Don said...

Oh, that's interesting. It records deleted comments. I just wanted to edit it.

lol, anyway... nice post mike.

Michael said...

I told you I didn't say anything heretical. Thanks guys, its good stuff to reflect on. I love Teresa, and you may hear me talk more about her, especially since her feast is on Wednesday!

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