Per request of my esteemed colleague Jacob, I will update this old thing. Because people are apparentlytired of my anti-freethinking rant. Who knew?
First the factual stuff. My pastoral internship has ended and my pastoral year has begun. I have moved from St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, AZ to St. Joseph Parish in Tucson proper. Up until tonight I have had no Internet access save for the occasional trips to my parents' house on the north side of town (horror of horrors!) but now I am happily mooching off of the DSL connection of the forward-thinking associate pastor upstairs.
Some other minor news. I joined a beginner's bowling league (even bought my own ball and shoes), so Mundelein bowling turney, watch out! Because I'm sure to have graduated from "Gawd awful" to "mediocre" in two years time. Fear! Also, as it just so happens, one of my new 'teammates' also happens to be an artistic woodcarver by trade. Providence!
I also sold almost all my of my video games. Radical asceticism? Only if you call the XBox 360 and Oblivion "asceticism". :)
Now, on to the ideas part. I continue to do some reading from time to time. I bought two books on topics from my Louvain days: "The Will to Believe, Human Immortality" by William James, and "The Portable Hannah Arendt". I wrote my philosophy BA paper on William James, and I continue to believe that he came closer to anybody else to a valid description of the natural component to the advent of faith (for one does not need to deny that faith is a supernatural gift in order to acknowledge that it has a natural aspect as well, right?) And Hannah Arendt, in her Origins of Totalitarianism, has given me the core understanding of what ideology is, which has helped me to understand certain writings of John Paul II like Centesimus Annus.
Some other recent book purchases: John Henry Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua (also available online); and C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. The latter is per the recommendation of the same colleague who complained about the lack of updates. I read it in a night--and I agree, it is now my favorite work of his, surpassing even The Screwtape Letters. Reading it, I discovered (in much more pleasant prose) the very same ideas I worked through in my recent blog posts on human freedom... which leads me less to think of myself as being on par with Lewis and more to the suspicion that he's been influencing me all these years.
On a different note... because of some recent developments in my life, I have become motivated to instruct myself on all of the finer points of ecclesiastical discipline concerning liturgy. It was then that I discovered the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, whom I have personally dubbed, the "Friends of Doing Liturgy Correctly". Of course, as Redemptionis Sacramentum states, "A merely external observation of norms would obviously be contrary to the nature of the Sacred Liturgy, in which Christ himself wishes to gather his Church, so that together with himself she will be 'one body and one Spirit.'" For that reason, as I continue to peruse the many post-conciliar documents on the liturgy, you will notice the spurt in posts defending the rubrics, from a pastoral, theological, and aesthetic perspective.
Well, that's it! Now stop complaining and let me get back to Oblivion.