Friday, January 11, 2008

Blog roll

I've made a decision to read only blogs that somehow relate to my own professional, theological interests. That means I will no longer read a lot of personal blogs of friends. I also won't read scholarly blogs that aren't likely to include material that will help me in my work. The reason for this is so that I can discipline my reading and therefore get more scholarly reading and writing done. I need to focus on that in order to maintain my avocation to scholarship.

I have not changed my blogroll to reflect this, but I will in the near or remote future, as I have time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Personal Litany of the Saints meme

Many of us have our own set of saints that we invoke for personal reasons. I have a whole litany that I recite during my morning prayer. Most of these saints are the patrons of my wife and children and special saints having to do with their lives. The rest are my own personal batch of saints. Here are the ones that are my personal litany:
  • Mary, Mother of God and Seat of Wisdom,
  • St. Joseph, patron of fathers and guardian of purity. Joseph is my confirmation name.
  • Ss. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
  • St. Robert Bellarmine, my patron and a theologian.
  • St. Francis, my other patron (my middle name is actually Franklin, but I fudge things a little, esp. since I am a secular Franciscan).
  • St. Augustine.
  • St. Benedict. I went to a Benedictine high school and have always been attracted to Benedictine spirituality, such as the Liturgy of the Hours and lectio divina. How I became Franciscan rather than an Oblate of St. Benedict is a long story.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • St. Thomas More, because he lived an intense spiritual life in the world and suffered for the truth.
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola. The impact Ignatian spirituality has had on me, both personally and intellectually is profound.
  • Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, Because of his devotion to a genuinely Catholic liberal education and because of the relationship of his thought to the teachings of Vatican II.
  • Venerable Leo John Dehon, because I work at a Dehonian institution and because of his devotion to the Sacred Heart, which is the primary form of my devotion to Christ, and to Eucharistic adoration, and to the formation of priests and to social justice.
  • St. Josemarie Escriva. El Camino has helped me considerably to be a man in my spirituality.
  • Servant of God Joseph Kentenich, founder of Schoenstatt. He has been the voice that has most helped me understand the centrality and meaning of motherhood, fatherhood and family in the human and Christian experience.
  • Servant of God John Paul II. He's the man. That is all I can say. I wish I were personally more like him and less like Pope Paul VI (whom I also admire greatly, especially for his longsuffering for the truth), but you have to play the cards you were dealt. Maybe I should add Pope Paul VI to my list?
  • Fr. Donald Wagener, a former seminarian here who developed a brain tumor while a deacon and died only months after his ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois. I have never been more certain of the sanctity of a man than I was of Fr. Donald Wagener.
  • Henri Cardinal de Lubac. Because he among all theologians has provided me an approach, a language, and an indefatigable zeal for the Catholic tradition in genuine dialogue with contemporary intellectual trends. I spent four years focusing on his thought. I don't know if he will ever be canonized, but I can hope that he will be, or at least that he has now already been released from purgatory and can therefore intercede on my behalf.
  • Guardian angels, for myself, my family and my godchildren.

What does one note about this list?

  • It is all male, except the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels.
  • It is decidedly Western. I have an affinity for Eastern thought and spirituality (which is one of the reasons why I am a Franciscan, whose spirituality has a lot in common with Eastern approaches to the faith), but have drifted naturally and more recenlty to western saints. I don't know why. I admire many eastern saints. Maybe in the future this will change.
  • The list tends to be either intellectuals or spiritual "doctors."
  • Besides Ss. Mary and Joseph, there is only one lay person on the list, St. Thomas More. That is mostly because some of my favorite lay people have not been canonized--Jacques Maritain, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc. Maybe I should add them as well, like I did Donald Wagener and Henri de Lubac.

I'm going to tag Kevin Miller, Maclin Horton, Oswald Sobrino, and Jeff Vehige, if they are interested.