Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer, Glorious Summer!

Well, school is out for the summer, and Rovers are scattered once again across the country, far from our collective home under the Dome. I'm back in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri (note our beautiful Arch on a summer day, above.)

As for me, I'm coffee shop and library-hopping, doing research for my senior thesis. I meet my second-favorite lunch, coffee, and/or library date everyday, in the pages of his copious writings. What could be better than spending hours each week encountering the thought of Pope Benedict XVI? Well, doing it on Notre Dame's tab. Thanks to my UROP grant, I'm able to focus on my research without worrying about holding down a full-time job. In case anyone is wondering, I pick up the lunch or coffee tab with non-UROP funds...and Papa Benny is a pretty cheap date.

Striking thought of the day, from former Cardinal Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity, a lovely book which is far more than the title implies:

It is only too easy for us to regard the Christian refusal, even if it meant the loss of one's life, to take any part in the cult of the emperor as a piece of fanaticism appropriate to an early period; excusable, perhaps, for this reason, but certainly not to be imitated today. Christians rejected even the most harmless forms of the cult, such as putting one's name down on the list of those contributing to the cost of a sacrificial victim, and were ready to risk their lives by such an action. Today, in a case like this, one would distinguish between an unavoidable act of civic loyalty and a real religious act, in order to find an acceptable way out and at the same time to take account of the fact that heroism cannot be expected of the average man. Perhaps such a distinction is today really possible in certain circumstances as a result of the decision carried out at the time. In any case it is important to realize that this refusal was far from being a piece of narrow-minded fanaticism and that it changed the world in a way in which it can only be changed by the readiness to suffer. Those events showed that faith is not a matter of playing with ideas but a very serious business: it says no, and must say no, to the absoluteness of political power and to the worship of the might of the mighty in general--'He has put down the mighty from their thrones' (Lk 1:52); and in doing so it has shattered the political principle's claim to totality once and for all. In this sense the profession 'There is only one God' is, precisely because it has itself no political aims, a program of decisive political importance:through the absoluteness that it lends the individual from his God,a nd through the relativization to which it relegates all political communities in comparison with the unity of the God who embraces them all, it forms the only definitive protection against the power of the collective and at the same time implies the complete abolition of any idea of exclusiveness in humanity as a whole. (pp 112-113)

I also must add that I'm spending my non-working hours finishing up plans for our August wedding. That's like a second job, in case anyone was wondering!

So what are current and former Rovers up to during these summer months?

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