Monday, December 20, 2010
Blackfriars, St. Thomas, and my Vocation
While I was interested in the Jesuits before, and have largely come to doubt a calling to the priesthood, I've still felt a calling to teach and most especially to preach, and thus have been looking at the Order of Preachers. I've considered becoming a third order Dominican, as I considered (and consider) becoming a third order Franciscan.
In any case, my parents (Evangelical Anabaptists) are going to Oxford next year to take apologetics courses at Wycliffe Hall, they've suggested I come along and study at Oxford, so now I'm looking into going to Blackfriars to study philosophy or theology with an emphasis in history in either field. Readers please pray for my discernment in this area, and whether my vocation is in the Order of Preachers (either as a consecrated brother, or a priest, or as a third order) or in the Secular realm, or elsewhere.
May you all have a Merry Christmas.
(Right now I'm reading Chesterton's book on St. Thomas and I can't think of anything better to post than quotes of his).
"Only one tale told of his captivity shows him merely in anger; and that shows him angrier than he ever was before or after. It struck the imagination of his own time for more important reasons; but it has an interest that is psychological as well as moral. For once in his life, for the first time and the last, Thomas of Aquino was really hors de lui; riding a storm outside that tower of intellect and contemplation in which he commonly lived. And that was when his brothers introduced into his room some specially gorgeous and painted courtesan, with the idea of surprising him by a sudden temptation, or at least involving him in a scandal. His anger was justified, even by less strict moral standards than his own; for the meanness was even worse than the foulness of the expedient. Even on the lowest grounds, he knew his brothers knew, and they knew that he knew, that it was an insult to him as a gentleman to suppose that he would break his pledge upon so base a provocation; and he had behind him a far more terrible sensibility; all that huge ambition of humility which was to him the voice of God out of heaven. In this one flash alone we see that huge unwieldy figure in an attitude of activity, or even animation; and he was very animated indeed. He sprang from his seat and snatched a brand out of the fire,
and stood brandishing it like a flaming sword. The woman not unnaturally shrieked and fled, which was all that he wanted; but it is quaint to think of what she must have thought of that madman of monstrous stature juggling with flames and apparently threatening to burn down the house. All he did, however, was to stride after her
to the door and bang and bar it behind her; and then, with a sort of impulse of violent ritual, he rammed the burning brand into the door, blackening and blistering it with one big black sign of the cross. Then he returned, and dropped it again into the fire; and sat down on that seat of sedentary scholarship, that chair of philosophy, that secret throne of contemplation, from which he never rose again." - G.K. Chesterton "Saint Thomas Aquinas" (the dumb ox)
I also pray this season, that God will give me the grace and righteousness of Christ within me to conform to his will nad practice what I feel called to preach.
St. Dominic ; St. Thomas Aquinas ; St. Catherine of Sienna ; all holy blackfriars! Pray for me that God would lead me to my true vocation and give me the grace and virtue to follow Christ in the Order of Preachers and to make me an example of his gospel in word and deed until he take me home or come again.
Posted by A at 5:04 PM