Posted by Liz Kelly, Managing Editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Center for Catholic Studies
The topic has long preoccupied the heart of man: the meaning of human suffering. In this issue of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, philosopher Peter J. Colosi offers a thoughtful reflection on the work of John Paul II on the meaning of suffering as informed by the writings of phenomenologist, Max Scheler.
Colosi identifies an “inextricable link between suffering and love…almost like a mountain and a valley, such that if the suffering were to vanish, so necessarily would the love.” He draws heavily upon John Paul’s notion, taken from the apostolic letter, Salvifici doloris, that one of the primary purposes of suffering in the world is, paradoxically, to create an opportunity to “unleash love.”
He poses three foundational questions concerning suffering:
1. What is the origin of suffering?
2. What is the metaphysical status of suffering?
3. Given the reality of suffering, what is its inner meaning, how does it relate to the other aspects of our lives, and what should our response to it be?
The article concentrates primarily on John Paul’s response to the third question.
Read the entire article.
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Posted by Mary, Catholic Studies staff member
(Pictured above: Donald Codden and Kecia Rehkamp actors in the “I Do I Do!” conference segments)
The Center for Catholic Studies continues to keep busy over the summer months. One recent event that Catholic Studies co-sponsored was the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers’ conference, “Becoming a Marriage-Building Church.” As co-sponsor of the event, the Center for Catholic Studies was brought in at the early planning stages of the event. The conference and pre-conference was held June 22-28th on the St. Thomas campus. The focus of the conference was to encourage Church members to be an active part of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage (NPIM).
The days were filled with guest lecturers ranging from bestselling author Christopher West to our very own Father Peter Laird (who graciously filled in for a keynote speaker, only days before the event started).
Before each keynote lecture there was prayer followed by a fun scene from the play “I Do I Do!” performed by the Donald Codden and Kecia Rehkamp. The play’s only prop was a large poster style bed donated from the local Slumberland store, which was kept on stage for the duration of the conference. The bed served to transition the scenes of the life of a marriage from getting married, to having children, to monitoring teenagers out past their curfews, to the quiet blankness of an empty nest. Throughout the week many conference participants could be seen quickly walking from the various residence halls to the OEC Auditorium so as not to miss the next scene of the play. This very clever tactic thought up by Chris Codden helped to keep attendees on time and ready for the keynote speakers!
The warm, somewhat muggy week was filled with prayer, business meetings, workshop sessions, three floors of vendors in Murray-Herrick atriums, celebration of the Eucharist at the St. Thomas Chapel, as well as Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul to close the Pauline year. The Mass, presided over by Archbishop John Nienstedt, S.T.D., was followed by a wedding cake reception. Attending the Mass was particularly exciting for many of the conference attendees, especially those who traveled from other states and countries, as the Cathedral had just received the special distinction of shrine status, being the only shrine in North America dedicated to Saint Paul.
A little fun was also thrown in with an ice-cream social and barbeque dinner with a very special guest appearance – the Father Guido Sarducci character of Saturday Night Live fame! Father Sarducci entertained the all-ages crowd before the Karaoke fun began and finished the night.
Chris Codden, President of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers, summed the week up: “The conference hosted more than 500 people from the United States, Canada, the Bahamas and Australia, which included nine archbishops and bishops and 50 clergy. We feel the conference was a great success and look forward to the fruit of the work begun here; to the impact on the culture and society; to becoming a “Marriage-Building Church”.
(Pictured above: Conference Mass at the University of St. Thomas Chapel)
Follow the Catholic Studies blog as it profiles iits students and their summer activities and plans.
Posted by Sarah, UST Senior, Catholic Studies
If I had to choose one word to describe me, I would only have to glance at the top of my left foot in order to find the answer. This single word that has been tattooed on my foot is pasja, which means “passion” in Polish. The “P” is a Christian fish, symbolizing my passion for faith; it is located on the top of my turning foot, symbolizing my passion for dance. I feel so blessed to study and gain experience in academic fields revolving around these two passions. My name is Sarah White, and I will graduate from the University of St. Thomas in May 2010.
I know that I’ve come a long way over the past few years- literally and figuratively. I’m originally from Norwalk, Iowa and have had my fair share of 4-hour car rides to and from school on breaks and holidays. I have attended Catholic schools since the first grade, and I wanted to be out of state yet not too far away, so St. Thomas seemed like the perfect fit. My major in Catholic Studies is the perfect accompaniment to all three of my minors: psychology, dance, and family studies. It is also the perfect tool to assist me in all areas of life; studying and discussing Catholic principles and beliefs every day has helped me with relationships, leadership skills, practicing spirituality, jobs on and off campus, and many other things.
Unlike every other soon-to-be senior, I do not have an internship this summer because I’m working for NDA, also known as the National Dance Alliance. For the past 4 summers I have been teaching at dance camps all over the United States. As mentioned earlier I’m used to traveling, and I absolutely love it. This year I will be working camps in Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and working with new people at every camp and the many roles that we must play such as teacher, mentor, customer service rep, evaluator, performer, choreographer, competition coordinator/adjudicator, and recruiter. Our company offers many styles of dance such as jazz, hip hop, pom, lyrical, modern/contemporary, kick, and prop/novelty; we also offer levels ranging from beginning to elite. Even though my job is very physically and mentally demanding, it is also the most rewarding and joyful experience ever. I get paid to do what I love, and I see immediate results of the positive effect I have on high school girls all over the country. One phrase that continues to motivate me every time I prepare for a camp consists of four simple words: Praise Him with dancing!