Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Recommendation & English Monasticism

Over the last few days I have been in the process of applying for graduate studies in History (Masters), and have been choosing my specific focus and areas of interest. I'm hoping to write on English recusants from the reign of the godly James II to the 45 (ie. 1684-1745). I found a wonderful book on the topic by Gabriel Glickman "The English Catholic Community, 1688-1745: Politics, Culture, and Ideology" on the period. It does a great job at showing the diversity of English Catholics and their contribution to political and intellectual culture.

I claim no brilliance on my part, but am fascinated that as I read many of the ideas of the Tory Roman Catholics I find that I too had already interpretted English history and political theory in the way that they had. It was like when I read Newman for the first time and realized I had been going through exactly the same thing.

It is nice to feel like one has company on such journies. I have been attending to the sacraments more often in this vacation time and going to the Latin mass oratory more frequently. I am constantly led to repent of all my manifest failures, a great deal of which have made their way to this blog. I apologize for the hard things I have said of any Catholic groups (including the Latin mass-ers).

While I am going on to study in History I am quite fascinated by reading the stories of Anglican and Protestant converts who ended up becoming Jesuit priests or Benedictine monks and how they wrote on English History.

I think the deepest longing in my heart would be to join a traditional monastery or live a religious life. Though there are many vices and problems both spiritual and temporal for me to face before such a path would open up, however one can always hope.

Every time I see a habit I get suddenly jealous. Though if a woman were ever to love me and desire marriage I suppose that would be good too. I think it would be fascinating however to follow a sort of new St. Benedict or St. Dominic, or St. Francis into another wave of religious life in our post-modern world, which would effect change without becoming either purely worldly or cloistered.

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