17 October 2010

And Back Again

I guess that I forgot to mention why I was at a seminary. Thursday and Friday were the fall break for Vanderbilt. It is becoming a part of my schedule for fall break to go with whatever young men are interested in visiting the seminary on a "sprint" to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH. It is where I went to seminary, and it is where most of our diocesean seminarians are studying now. We had a great visit. I have literally never seen things better at the Josephinum.

On the way home, I was discussing with the two young men who were with me about another vocational concern that I have. Healthy vocations to marriage. These are built on healthy relationships between young men and women. It has seemed to me that there are few relationship among the students that I serve that I would really call happy. In the first place, there are few relationships period, and the ones that do exist do so in a very toxic climate with little support for a happy outcome. I feel called to try to provide these sincere young people with about all I have to offer them: the fruit of a little more experience in life. One of my father's most brilliant sayings is: "good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment." Maybe some of my experience from poor judgment could help them come to good judgment.

DTR -- "define the relationship" This is the code for the rules of "the game" today. It makes perfect sense, in a way. Successful people "take charge" of their lives so it would seem reasonable to "take charge" of one's love life by DTR. I would like to suggest that it does not work, however, simply by pointing to the fruits of its application. Relationships are not happy or strong in our culture. This much I can see. I want to begin to research what is going on now. I have a hunch about a better way, but I don't want to jump to conclusions. Somehow, I think the answer will have something to do with recognizing and serving the mystery of the other, rather than packaging the other into defined categories. I will admit a predisposition to follow the wisdom drawn from a vast depository of good judgment, supported not only by experience but by revelation from the great Lover: the Church, especially as expressed in John Paul II's theology of the body. I would like to try to get there from the bottom up, rather than from the top down, if you know what I mean.

Wish me well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts. Theology of
the Body was written by a mystic and
poet with a great devotion to Our
Lady. Maybe good poetry and an
appreciation of the life and works
of mystics could help. Maybe more
so though, a greater understanding
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It
was within her heart that the Word
dwelt and in her openness to God's
will in her life that the Word
could then take flesh(Augustine said
it better but I couldn't find the
quote). Anyone who has been married
for a good while knows that you
just HAVE to "ponder these things"
in your heart and that when things
seem most hopeless, that like the
root of plants that must go deeper to find water in times of drought, the love for your
spouse must go deeper also. Jesus
is present in those times abiding
with us as we abide with one
another.