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!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wherein I whine briefly and then provide an update regarding my thesis

Seminaries are not what one might consider loud to begin with, but SPS has been especially silent today. The majority of the men are out and about, enjoying time away, leaving those of us who remain with an uncommon silence in the halls. This is, theoretically, a positive thing for me, as I am, theoretically, writing my thesis. I find, however, that I am as equally distracted by the silence (and the fact that my peers are all out living it up) as I am by their noise when they are here.

As I noted, I am theoretically working on my Thesis this weekend. I have submitted some major portions at this point, and am working on adding a couple of shorter, though equally important portions by the end of tomorrow. To date, I have hypothesized the following:

1) Catholicism in Spain during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella was characterized by a crusing zeal that drove them first to expel the Muslims and then the Jews from their country. While it must be admitted that there was a certain political motivation to their actions, they were also staunchly Catholic and had great concern for the salvation of souls and the preservation of orthodoxy.

2) Europe, and in a particular way, Spain, was infected with a sort of Apocalypticism by which they came to believe that they had an immense role to play in bringing about the end of time. This was bound up, in part, in the capture of Jerusalem and in part, in the conversion of the whole world to Catholicism. The expulsion of Islam from Spain convinced many that the Catholic Monarchs were the special tools by which these would both occur.

3) Columbus, infected with this same apocalypticism, saw himself as an essential actor in bringing about the consummation of time. He had intended, at first, to provide a way not only to the Orient, but a backdoor attack against the Moslems in the Holy land. His own self importance was reaffirmed in his mind when he discovered a land of unconverted people. He came to see himself as truly worthy of his own name which literally means "Christ-Bearer."

4) The arrival of the Mendicants in the New World was significant in that while they were largely good and kind men, they would not permit any vestige of native religion to exist among the people over whom they were placed. Their own apocalyptic understanding and their Spanish concern for orthodoxy drove them to bring the native people of Mexico not only to Christianity, but also Spanish Catholicism. This methodology was significantly different than that of the Jesuits who would inherit North America and parts of Mexico and South America later in colonial history.

I have also written about Our Lady of Guadalupe at length. What remains there is to identify the manner by which the mestizo would eventually identify themselves with her and as a result, the Church.



Jinglebob said...

Thoughts? Thoughts? I can barely follow yours!

It boggles the mind!

Sandy said...

I find the topic of your thesis very intriguing. I just finished reading James Michener's historical fiction book "Mexico". His take on the conversion to Catholicism of the Altomec Indians by the Spanish (which includes Bishop Palafox) is quite a story. I had to look up mestizo (mixed blood) and that was a running theme throughout the book. Will your thesis be available for perusal?

Deacon Tyler said...

Once the thesis has been completed, i will be required to submit two bound copies, one of which will be available through the Ireland Library, which is the theological library here on campus.

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