Day 3 - A week in the life of a seminarian (updated)

I was going to try and make this post shorter than the previous two, but I started thinking about everything that has happened - and, I'm sorry to say, but I don't think that's going to happen...  Hope springs eternal I suppose!

Today began with my alarm going off at 6:00 AM.  Why do I mention that?  Because instead of Mass at 6:45 (like a usual Wednesday), we were having Mass this evening, and morning prayer at 7:15.  So, my extra half-hour of sleep was rudely interrupted by my cell phone going off early.  Even worse, it was across the room, so I had to jump out of bed, turn it off, and then go back to bed...  Anyway, morning prayer went as normal - meaning that I had to look back at it to find what had jumped out at me then: mercy.  It seemed like every psalm, the reading, even the canticle verse, all had to do with God's mercy.

Morning Prayer was followed by breakfast.  I decided that today I was going to eat more healthily than I had the last day or two, so I made myself a bacon/egg sandwich, and I was debating what to have with it, when Andrew decided to make pancakes.  Of course, I wasn't going to pass up pancakes, and when he decided to add chocolate chips, I wasn't about to complain, and when I thought about drizzling chocolate syrup on top, I didn't hesitate   Let's just say that it was a very good pancake, but my intention to eat something healthy, had quickly disappeared.

Anyway, classes began with senior seminar at 9:00 AM.  We continued talking about Introduction to Christianity, today covering the (recent) history of how people have perceived Jesus.  Basically, the view swung between seeing just the "Jesus" we can find historically and the "Jesus" of faith.  These positions generally disconnected the two realities - something that Ratzinger advocates must stay connected together.

In moral issues we covered the death penalty.  The class very much followed strait down the line what Catholic teaching is on the matter.  Since Tertullian (3rd century AD), one of the first Christians to write on the matter (that we still have record), the teaching has basically been that capital punishment is within the authority of the state, but should only be used in necessary (and today, probably few) instances.

In human growth and development we moved into cognitive development during early childhood (3-7 years).  It is so cool to see how many major cognitive advances kids overcome during this period.  They can understand more and more advanced concepts, and see the world in much more developed ways.  Pretty cool stuff!

After that class, as usual, I went with a few guys and prayed the rosary at the Marian shrine (across campus).  It is such a beautiful moment to just forget about everything going on in classes and focus on giving the day to God through His mother.  I was a bit worried about the calculus test and meeting with the dean that afternoon, and it was nice to just give it into God's hands.  

For lunch I went to the cafeteria.  My resolve to eat healthily (and minimally) was intact.  At least until I saw the blueberry pie...  A slice of lasagna and some salad joined the pie as my "small" lunch...

I ate quickly, so as to give myself some time to whip through a few more calculus problems for review.  I managed to get myself confused by a certain kind of equation (derivatives of square roots), only to figure out how to get around the difficulty moments before class.  Thankfully, the test wasn't too hard (at least I don't think so), and there was some extra credit, so I am hopeful in getting a good grade.  We'll see, it wasn't as bad as I was thinking it could be.

After calculus, usually I would be done, but not today.  Today I had to meet with the academic dean.  Basically, my problem is this: because of the way that credits transferred into Marian I am at a deficit of 200 level classes.  This means that technically to graduate I need 19 more 200+ level credit hours - no big deal, just one more hour than this semester - but, I also have to take logic (PHL150).  So, that leaves me taking 22 credit hours next semester, 12 of which are hard philosophy classes, and the others all of which will have to be above 200 level (so, pretty hard too).  Let's just say that I don't really want to do that.  Anyway, I met with the dean, and he said he would look into some of the transferred classes to see if they were equivalent of 200 level classes at Marian, but if none of them worked out, I would be stuck finishing those 22 hours.  We'll see...

At this point (2:30ish), I finally headed back to Bruté.  While walking to my room I saw a few guys were watching World War Z, so I stopped to check it out and ended up staying to watch the movie.  It was good I suppose, I guess I'm not the type that usually goes for zombie movies - but it was well done, full of action, and had a good message (you know, save humanity).  After that I worked on a few things, caught up with email, and then raced off to Mass/Evening Prayer at 4:30.  Today was a discernment dinner - which basically means we invite guys who are interested in seminary to spend the evening here and kind of figure out what seminary is like.  The Gospel reading today at Mass jumped out at me at one point where Jesus "gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick." - Luke 9  I thought that it was interesting that Jesus sent them out to "heal the sick" - I haven't thought about this point too much.  I guess I often focus on fixing problems rather than healing them, and there is a difference.  Jesus' touch is one of healing and mercy.  Certainly, there is a balance here, but I think that in some sense I need to see that love isn't "hard" and tough, but mercy... 

After Mass we all drove over to Marian for dinner.  If you have been following the renditions of what I ate the rest of the day, you can probably see where this is going.  Once again, they had blueberry pie, so of course I grabbed a slice of that, and what is better than blueberry pie?  Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream!  (So, I grabbed that.)  It also must have been fry-everything day, because most of the cafeteria's food was fried.  Chicken nuggets - grab 3, corn dog - grab one, fried pb&j (!) - grab one...  You can see where this is going...  I did grab some carrots/peppers to add some nutritional value, but I don't think it really helped.  Oh well, tomorrow is another day...  (of course, I say that every day.)

After dinner, we came back to Bruté where we played a quick game of two-ball (lots of fun, but the other guys were more cut-throat that I was, so I was knocked out mid-way through).  Then we had a fun time while the freshman/sophomores told their favorite memories of Bruté life.  It was hilarious, and while I can't duplicate the stories here, I hope you can imagine 40 guys laughing hysterically at renditions of different episodes from around the seminary.  There were stories about crazy drivers, late-night games, people who ate just the tops off of muffins (don't ask) - it was incredibly funny!

Alright, well I just hit paragraph number 14, so this post needs to conclude asap.  After the story-telling session I played a bit more two-ball (again losing), talked with guys about more funny stories of days gone by (again funny), went to Adoration for an hour (it switched between splendid, peaceful, distracted, prayerful, and tired), then talked with Declan for an hour about philosophy (how it's cool, sometimes) and Bruté (in general).  Then I spent another half hour working on this post, and now I am going to bed.

Good night everybody!  As Corey would say - sleep with the angels!