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Medieval Philosophy final exam

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bird + esse + happy place + Ave Maria

During Mass this morning, a bird flew in the Chapel and then right into a window.  He walked it off.  — we all prayed for him

AQUINAS + MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY class – (Fr Vallee) — we reviewed the hierarchy of “ESSE” … God (pure act) … angels (pure intuition) … human beings (discursive reasoning, dielectic) … sentient beings (animals) … animate (plants) … inanimate (rocks).  Also mentioned the importance of Ben’s “happy place.”

Somehow, we got talking about Barbara Streisand … her Christmas album … and her version of Ave Maria.  — I can’t believe I actually found this on YouTube … dedicated to Fr Vallee … it’s not so bad?

lector + missing Psalm + poverty + underdog croquet

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

MORNING PRAYER & MASS – (Fr Vallee) — today, I was lector for the Mass reading (conversion of St Paul) and lead Liturgy of the Hours (Morning & Evening).  While reading morning Laud, I TOTALLY SKIPPED the 3rd Psalm … ??? … nervous, I guess … and was reminded about it all day from my seminary brothers.  — I appreciate the fraternal correction 🙂

AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — started Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter Fides et Ratio.  Spent some time on the opening greating:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.

World Poverty filmCONTEMPORARY PHIL – (Fr Santos) — started The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels with discussion on the “working class” and poverty.  Watched an assigned video about world poverty, “When Did I See You Hungary?” a film by Gerard Thomas Straub narrated by Martin Sheen.

MEDIEVAL PHIL – (Fr Vallee) — “paradigm shift” + permanence & change + the one & the many

OLYMPIC CROQUET — our new sports coordinators have created an Olympic Sports Tournament over the next few weeks, including ping pong, relay races, volleyball, soccer, croquet & more.  Today was our Olympic Croquet tournament, which I signed up for.  16 guys in 4-4 player games, whereby the winner of each plays for the Gold.  I won my first round as an underdog in a very exciting & close game.  The final round was actually ALL underdogs from the first rounds, ending with the champion being my “Guadeamus Clone” who must have copied my abilities & strategy into his collective.  — A great tournament!
Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

EVENING PRAYER & DINNER — In order to redeem myself with this morning’s blunder, my post-dinner prayer (also the lector’s job) included an “excerpt from this morning’s missing Psalm” and gratitude for food, friends, fellowship, faith & fin de semana (“weekend” in Spanish).  — Dr Jimenez would be proud!

means well + ethical hero + dualism + Taliban

January 23, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Alvarez) — [an “extremely liturgically strict” priest is a poor example]

AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — 3 reasons for studying philosophy: (1) apologetic, (2) dogmatic, and (3) pastoral.  Nemo dat quod non habet = no one gives what they don’t have.  CCD teacher that only teaches emotion … 8th grader observation: “She means well, but doesn’t mean much.”

Søren KierkegaardCONTEMPORARY PHIL – (Fr Santos) — finished Kierkegaard‘s Either/Or.  The “ethical existence” is choosing to be who and what one truly and uniquely is (a subject, a self, unlike any other self, unlike any other thing).  Even though we have many potential directions, TO WILL EVERYTHING IS TO ULTIMATELY WILL NOTHING (one’s energy is dissipated).  The self willing involves an ongoing task/process, not a finished product.  Negative view of the “mystic.”  The “ethical hero” is interested in becoming a “genuine human being” and “honesty to oneself” ready to give up the aesthetic if it classes with the ethical or “for the sake of” something higher.  The RELIGIOUS STATE is an intensified version of the ethical, making a relationship with God the highest priority.  — need to read Karl Marx Communist Manifesto for Friday.

MEDIEVAL PHIL – (Fr Vallee) — elitism (death penalty debate) + virtue (through humility) + dualism (the Forms eternal are a problem to creation) + Justin Martyr (creation, faith & reason) + Philo the Jew (the Forms are ideas in the mind of God)

WORKLIST — with the rain, the “outdoor guys” were reassigned to help other crews, which made our McCarthy House crew finish even faster.

HOLY HOUR – (Fr Alvarez) — Taliban + scandal + “be a man

DOTSNext

beast of burden + men are right + Unknown God + body theology

January 14, 2008 1 comment

Pope Benedict XVI coat of armsMASS – (Fr Michael) — today’s Mass intention was for Pope Benedict XVI, very appropriately with the Gospel reading of Jesus telling Peter to “Feed My Sheep.”  The story behind the significance of the Corbinian Bear on the Pope’s coat of arms (upper right) was told.  According to the background on Saint Corbinian (a Frankish bishop), a bear killed his pack horse on his way to Rome so the saint commanded the bear to carry his load.  Pope Benedict XVI first adopted the symbol when, still known as Joseph Ratzinger, he was appointed Archbishop of Freising-Munich in March of 1977.  He retained the bear in his revised coat of arms when becoming Cardinal in the same year and when elected to Pope in 2005.  In addition to the obvious reference back to St. Corbinian, the founder of the diocese where Benedict was bishop, the bear represents Benedict himself being “tamed by God” as a “beast of burden” to bear the spiritual burdens of Benedict’s own ministries first as bishop, then as cardinal, and now as pope.

AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — more on Modernity and the extremes of Rationalism (reason) & Fideism (faith).  Nature + supernature.  Grace + nature.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge quote: “Most men are right in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.”

CONTEMPORARY PHIL – (Fr Santos) — opening quiz on reading of Kierkegaard‘s “Equilibrium between the Aesthetic & the Ethical” in his book Either/Or.  Introduced “inauthentic existence,” “radical subjectivity,” “disolving into a mutitude,” and self as “task” & “a dynamic process.”

St Paul in Athens & the Unknown GodMEDIEVAL PHIL – (Fr Vallee) — reviewed Stoicism and reflected on St Paul in Athens (Acts 17), especially his approach to preaching the gospel message among the Greeks of his time about their statue to the “Unknown God.”

MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — “Classroom Management.” 

RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — usually on Thursday, this was an exceptional day since this Thursday we’re hosting the seminarians from the St Vincent’s Major Seminary in Boyton Beach, FL.  Today’s topic was (part 2 of 3) on the Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

DOTS — night walk — Superman Returns — busy day

  

faith & reason + Scientism + brave mice + final essays

MASS – (Fr Vallee) — In the darkest times, the Lord is with us.  [Guardian angel Rosary assistance].

AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — reviewed a general timeline after the death of Thomas Aquinas in 1250.  William of Ockham gave rise to Nominalism (minimized metaphysics, which is the link between philosophy and theology).  The movie “Name of the Rose” reflected his nominalist attitude.  In the 19th century, debates in the Church led to extreme responses like Rationalism (sola ratio) and Fideism (sola fide).  As opposed to Protestant extremism (sola scriptura & sola fide), the Catholic Church maintains balance between “faith & reason” as well as “Scripture & Tradition.”

CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — reviewed characteristics of Modern Philosophy:

1)  Turn towards the “self” (anthropos becomes conscious)
2)  Turn toward “subjectivity” (reality + truth = function of the subjective)
3)  Renewed emphasis on the object (Scientism) (person = reduced to his material reality)
4)  “Fragmentation” of reality (cosmos = science, theos = theology, anthropos = philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.)

An aside on Scientism brought discussion about genetically engineered mice that had their fear of cats removed via DNA.  A current example of how modernity influences our approach to solving life’s “problems.”  Scientific research + ethics + faith.

19th Century Philosophy … brought Hegelianism / Romantic Idealism that REJECTED the Kantian dichotomy between the noumenon & phenomenon … also brought a greater Kantian dichotomy in philosophy with (Marx) Dialectical Materialism, (Comte) Positivism, (Nietzsche) Nihilism.

MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Vallee) — our final essay questions will deal with 4 areas for each philosopher … (1) Aporia (1st question & basic theme) … (2) Metaphysics (“What is?”) … (3) Epistemology (study of knowledge) … (4) Ethics.

WORKLIST (1:30-3pm) — starting next week, we’ll have new Wednesday worklist jobs and new house jobs.

HOLY HOUR (4:30-5:30pm) — intention for the seminarians at St Vincent’s (major seminary) on 5-day retreat as well as the Southeast Bishops on retreat.  Found a prayer for meditation … Invocations to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament:

Lord Jesus, through Your infant cries when You were born for me in the manger; through Your tears when You died for me on the Cross; through Your love as You live for me in the tabernacle, have mercy on me and save me.

semester begins + Aquinas + Contemporary Philosophy + Medieval + Ministry + Amber Spyglass

January 7, 2008 1 comment

MASS – (Fr Michael) — God is the same yesterday as today, on vacation, on retreat, back in the daily routine.  Do you believe in Jesus?  How is your life different because of your belief?

AQUINAS in the 20th CENTURY – (Fr Vallee) — this is a senior level course that focuses on the rediscovery of St Thomas Aquinas thought in the 19th & 20th centuries, in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics and anthropology.  Readings will be from Gilson, Maritain, Marechal, Rousselot and John Paul II’s Fides et ratio.  No term paper.  Tests are open notes & open book — (translation: It’s hard!).  Large class.

CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — started reviewing Modern Philosophy era.  LOTS of readingMartin BuberI and ThouHans-Georg GadamerTruth and MethodMartin Heidegger Introduction to MetaphysicsEdmund Husserl – Phenomenology and the Crisis of PhilosophySoren Kierkegaard Either/Or (our first reading assignment) … Karl Marx Communist Manifesto Friedrich Nietzsche The Anti-ChristPaul RicoeurOneself as AnotherJohn Robinson Honest to GodAdam Smith The Wealth of NationsAlfred North Whitehead Religion in the Making.  — I should probably be reading right now! 

MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Vallee) — reviewed a timeline of philosphy periods.  This class will focus on Augustine (Confessions), Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica, On Being and Essence, The Thought of Thomas Aquinas).  Our main test is Frederick Copleston’s A History of Philosophy, vol II.  2 papers.  — finally some Augustine & Aquinas!

MINISTERIAL PRACTICUM – (Fr Michael) — reviewed the basic about ministry (from last semester).  This course will be about the practical skills need for ministry.  Next year, we’ll be assigned Monday night “Apostalic Work” in the areas of CCD catechesis or Homebound Visitation.  We’ll be going out to visit other seminarians in their work assignments throughout the semester.  Today, we also learned “How to Create a Lesson Plan” for CCD class.  — finally some hands-on!

DOTS — “Kr” Lauds blessing — listened to first half of The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials trilogy) on audio