You know those moments when you’re just content to be where you are, doing what you’re doing? This morning is like that. It isn’t that I’m doing anything all that exciting – prepping a purchase order for general office supplies, tracking down a FedEx shipment that referenced a non-existent account number, processing Petty Cash forms. But I have coffee, and dancing last night was really good (New guy: You’re fun to dance with! Me: I much prefer that to, “Whoops, she didn’t follow the lead again!”) School is coming down to crunch time, but it isn’t bothering me right now. (Actually, it isn’t coming down to crunch time, it is crunch time. But for the moment I’m ok with this.) The sun is shining. In a while I’ll go to lunch. I’ll grab an apple, and sit out on the front porch with my book. It will be good.
Also, I got a Professor to agree to help me with the Summer Readings Course I want to do. (Warning! Theology Ahead!) See, there’s this new theology by JP the Great called Theology of the Body. It’s been rocking my world pretty steady since I first found out about it maybe five years ago. Almost all the commentary I’ve read/heard, however, has been by this guy Christopher West. The dude also rocks my world, but I’ve been told that his interpretation is very Thomist (that means heavily influenced by the Scholastic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas & Posse). This works, because every Catholic theologian for the last couple hundred years has been solidly grounded in Aquinas, but the thing is that JP was primarily a phenomenologist and a personalist. Another famous phenomenologist & personalist is Edith Stein, aka St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was a brilliant philosopher who got her doctorate when she was 25, and was active in the fight for women’s rights in Germany. She was born a Jew, became an atheist, then converted to Catholicism after reading St. Teresa of Avila. Then she became a Carmelite nun. Then she was taken from her convent by the Nazis in retaliation for the Catholic bishops in Holland’s condemnation of them, and killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau less than two weeks later. I’ve been told that if you read Edith Stein, then re-read JP II, you get a somewhat different interpretation of the Pope’s theology. This fascinates me. So I’m going to find out.
Say a prayer for me, though. The professor who is going to help me is in very bad health. He’s supposed to be taking it easy, but he won’t. I’ve gotten some disapproving reactions from various theology department people who aren’t pleased that I’m not helping him take it easy. We’re hoping that since he’s read most of the materials I’ll be reading already this won’t add too much to his work load. And his TA says that if it weren’t me it would be someone else he was overworking himself with. I just don’t want to kill the guy, especially since the theology department would then kill me. So pray that his health improves.