Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top Ten



I've mentioned before that the drive to and from campus, about an hour each way, generally gives me time to think. Lately I've been trying to figure out the next step in my theological studies, trying to figure out if I should continue (which would be required for ordination) or give them a little rest for a bit. I've been looking at some other schools and last night on the way home I was thinking about why I've come to really love St. John's. I mean, I've driven by the place hundreds of times prior to starting my studies there and never gave it much of a thought. So, here's my top ten list:
10. Tradition - Whether it's the liturgy, lectio, feast days or what have you, it's interesting to see and participate in such a rich tradition. Jeanne (my wife and former Catholic) refers to me as Catholic-light these days.
9. St. John's Bible - it took me a bit to get used to the iconic nature of this work, but having one of the artistic directors for an instructor really opened my eyes to the relationship between art, music, and scripture. The image of Creation (above) is among my favorites.
8. "Old Campus" - including Luke Hall, the masonry and the ivy covered walls are awesome.
7. Oratory at the Episcopal House of Prayer - One of the best places to pray ever!
6. St. Benedict - The Rule is fascinating and fits so wonderfully well with Wesleyan Theology.
5. The Legacy of Virgil Michel - the ground breaking work, that the liturgy and the Body of Christ are the basis for all forms of social justice is still strong today.
4. Bernie and Bobertz - All of the faculty are great, but I'm awestruck by these two gentlemen.
3. The Arboretum - The monks walk the walk with regard to sustainability. The forests surrounding campus are managed on a 100 year cutting rotation - that's long-term thinking! - and much of the prairie and oak savannah have been restored.
2. Morning Prayer - great way to start the day. There's something pretty cool about participating in a ritual that's been ongoing daily since the 6th century.
1. Community - based on the monastic tradition, we learn in community. We support each other. Unlike other academic settings I've been in, there's a true spirit of wanting everyone else to succeed.

1 comment:

jeanne leigh said...

Sounds like ten awesome reasons for going there. Jim, my boys, my brother, Jody and I visited there in 1988. Beautiful place. Loved it and my brother kept cracking jokes like "Nobody's gonna make a MONK out of me." It was a great trip. Rob and Linda took us there. Almost every Spiritual Director I have had has been Catholic. I have made wonderful connections with deeply spiritual folks from that demonination. Joan Chittister is amazing. St. Francis has always blown me away, just to mention a couple;) WEll, I'll be dropping by when I can. I just starting blogging myself. Trying to figure all this out:) Peace, Jeanne Leigh