A habit that some Catholics have is asking friends to pray for them or for a loved one or for some special intention. It’s a wonderful habit.
Fifth in a series
TEACHING A COURSE on the philosophy of personalism last spring semester has proven to be a real blessing for me. The students’ reaction to the course was similar to mine. All of us had the feeling that we could go deeper and deeper into the meaning and the mystery of personal existence.
Third in a series
I HEARD a lecture by a prominent Catholic theologian who confessed that when she started teaching theology she used novels to stimulate the interest and the imagination of her students. Because I teach a philosophy course at St. John’s University that is based on Catholic novels, I was not surprised when she confessed that her course was a success. I have often found philosophical and theological insights in novels, plays and films.
Second in a series
REFLECTING LAST semester on the insights of personalist philosophers such as Martin Buber, Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Mounier, John Macmurray and Father W. Norris Clarke, S.J., in a course entitled “Personalism” at St. John’s University, I came to see in a new way how inspiring some of the insights are. I think the insights have helped me to see more deeply into Christian mysteries by helping me to see more deeply into the mystery that a human person is.
by Father Robert Lauder
First in a series
ONE OF THE experiences in teaching philosophy that I find interesting is discovering new insights in material that I have taught previously. I am not certain how this happens. Is it that the first time I dealt with the material I was not sufficiently attentive? Was it that with the passage of time I grew in knowledge that enabled me to see what I had previously missed?
AMONG THE MANY wonderful images in sacred Scripture related to following Christ, I find the images of darkness and of light especially provocative.
Second in a series
WHEN I WAS in Catholic grammar school, I learned the following definition of prayer: “Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God.” That definition served me well for many years; it no longer does. What now bothers me about the definition is that it seems to suggest prayer starts with us, that we initiate the prayer process. The definition gives me the impression that we pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and turn ourselves toward God. I don’t believe that. It is almost as though we are calling God’s attention to our presence or needs. God loves us more than we love ourselves.
First in a series, REFLECTING ON THE mystery of God’s love relationship with us, I started to think about how a human love relationship develops. This helped me to understand better the gift dimension of God’s relationship with us. I think a human love relationship involves a kind of a rhythm of giving and receiving. So does a love relationship with God.
Shortly after I finished studying theology, there was an enormous shift that took place in the study of Christ’s Resurrection, which helped me to see – and understand better – that theology is done by human beings reflecting on God’s revelation.
Eighth in a series
THE MORE I reflect on the insights that Ronald Rolheiser offers in “Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist” (New York: Doubleday, 2011), the more I see how the Eucharist relates to everything I believe as a Catholic.