I have learned much in just a few short hours. First, I learned that over 800 people applied to attend Acton University this year; I was one of 396 selected. I am humbled. I hope this does not turn into humiliation, as I was clearly one of the dumber people in that banquet room....
Acton draws from many, many countries, so it is likely I will make many friends from all over the country and the world. My dinner partners tonight were charming, intelligent and fun!
Fr. Robert Sirico, a co-founder of the Acton Institute, is a charming and down-to-earth speaker, all the while talking about an abundance of high-falutin' ideas. I have come to understand that I have a few tasks over the next few days:
1. It is my job to sincerely and humbly "yield to the truth", even if it is uncomfortable.
2. "We do not need more power [in the world]; need more intelligence." How are we to bring this about?
3. "We [humans} are autonomous and also always in relationship." I must use these truths to reach out to others.
It is the last point that is closest to my heart, as it is a thought with deep Franciscan roots. I have my own relationship with God, but that relationship is rooted in the Catholic Church. And the Church is not a bureacracy of positions, levels and jobs, but the Body of Christ. Each of my children is an individual, but clearly, our relationship as "family" is key to who they are.
My Acton Institute experience is underway, and I'm very excited about all the opportunities that lay ahead the next few days! I will keep you posted!