Skip to main content

Acton University, Day Two


I wasn't aware that I had a cousin from Nigeria, but I do. His name is Etibo, and he's a seminarian studying in DC. We had a delightful dinner tonight.


How do I know he's my cousin? When I asked our waitress for hot water and tea, he said, "You don't drink coffee?"


"No," I replied. "I don't like coffee, just tea."


"Are you British?" he said, jokingly.


"No, Irish."


"Oh, in Nigeria, we were evangelized by the Irish. We say we are all a little Irish."


I then suggested we were likely cousins, and he agreed. Nothing like meeting family for the first time!


Today was four conferences for us "newbies" to Acton University - four lectures meant to get us up to speed on things like Christian anthropology, limited government and economic theory in a free and virtuous society. All four lectures were brilliant, and I think my brain is on overload!


Some of the questions we pondered, and questions we raised today:

1. Who is man?

2. Does the Christian answer to that question have impact beyond the realm of theology, and if so, what is that impact?

3. If utopian ideals have been proven over and over again to be impossible, why do they keep coming up? What is the Christian answer to these errors?

4. What does it mean to be "free"? What does the answer to this question mean to us as individuals, as family members, as citizens, as children of God?


And that was just the morning....


Our evening guest speaker was Immaculee. If you're not familiar with her, run out and get her book, "Left to Tell" and read it. I'll wait.


--------------


Okay, I'll assume you didn't read it...yet. Immaculee was a young Rwandan woman in 1994 when a civil war broke out in her country. Her entire family, with the exception of one brother, was killed. Immaculee survived by being hidden, with eight other women, in a 3'x4' bathroom.


For three months.


And you were ticked off this morning 'cause the guy at the coffee shop got your order wrong.


Immaculee gives a wonderful, awesome, beautiful story of forgiveness, mercy and prayer - a witness to the fact that no situation is so horrid and evil that God's grace cannot over come it. It was humbling.
My overall impressions of the day are that I learned a lot, and it was almost overwhelming. I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do with all this knowledge.
Also, the Church truly IS universal: I have a "cousin" in Nigeria now, and I learned from a sister in Christ tonight that the worst we can imagine still cannot remove us from God's love and mercy.
I'll post again tomorrow!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…

Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.