I'm still having fun thinking of my Mom in the much more civilized 50s and 60s in the weather of Ireland. After traveling through Connemara on Friday, which I've never been able to do, she and Aunt Pat went up to meet the family in County Sligo Saturday morning, and have been there all through the weekend. This is also something I've yet to do. She's up now and getting ready to begin flying home in few hours: Sligo to Dublin, Dublin to Chicago. I envy my sister, getting to pick her up today: tired, I'm sure, but flushed with the victory of the trip. I should hop the bus to O'Hare and just invite myself along to her place as they stay overnight before heading back to Madison/Verona on Tuesday.
Joe Mueller said Mass at the Gesu today. I also had him at Joan of Arc on Wednesday night, and in both cases got to enjoy the guy I'm deciding is my favourite--and maybe the best--preacher on campus. I'm wishing I'd studied with him more. Today, even more than the preaching and the Eucharist itself, I really enjoyed Mass because I hopped up and filled in as a Eucharistic minister. There is really something extraordinary that I experience in looking into the faces of people as I announce, "The Body of Christ!" There's some hint of them opening up to God in the sacrament that I can see on their faces or in their eyes that makes ministering in that way something I always find both thrilling and humbling. I got to fulfill an old desire and jump in as Lector on Wednesday (it's truly painful listening to someone who either can't read well--who has no sense of "performance" in the words, as it were--or who doesn't feel and work with the poetry of the Psalms), but that was nothing as a spiritual experience in itself for me compared to this. So that was an extra bonus or gift for the day. A mystic or visionary I know has been telling me to focus in on Christ as "Brother" of late, and this tied into that a bit, I think.
Continued reading in the ethics/religious discourse in the public sphere area today. Nicholas Wolterstorff today. I'm trying to remember if I've met him or not. I seem to remember dealing with him in some way. I wonder if he was at ND before going to Yale. Blah, blah, blah. Sorry about all that. I'm now talking out loud to the computer more than journaling to any sensible end.
Tripped across a Michael Palin travelogue I've never heard of before while eating dinner: Himalaya this one was. Beautiful stuff. The Travel Network seemed to be showing the set, so it's still videotaping for my dinners for the rest of the week. I love these treks and light commentary of his. They seem well-shot to me: enough that some of it will sit strongly in my memory and make me think I'm better-traveled than I am when I pull these up as my memories in the future. Good stuff. Huh. Just glancing now at his website, I see that there have been a few others that I've missed. I saw maybe one episode of Around the World in 80 Days, when he first did something like this, and followed him on Pole to Pole avidly. I see he did one called Sahara: that would be fun to see him do someplace that I have been, and to actually "compare notes" for once with his experiences.
Oh, and blessed news!: Mickey Mattox teaches at 1pm, so I shouldn't have to be at the mercy of a dreaded "morning person" this next year. Or semester, at least. He does have a 9:30 grad class, but I doubt that I'd be expected to attend that. The class he's teaching this fall is one for Theology majors called "Theology Through the Centuries" (hmm... or "Theology Through the Ages" Now I'm not sure....). It is more-or-less exactly what I did for my high school sophomores: a one-semester dash through the 20 centuries of the experience of Christianity. It may be a bit more theologically-focused, per se than my "Church History" class, where I would also be really dealing with the cultural and political sides of things, too, but it should be close enough to be an interesting comparison for my observation. And I should be able to sub easily for it if need be. He's also using two of the texts that I also taught my high school students: Augustine's Confessions and Julian of Norwich's Showings or Revelations of Divine Love. So it looks to have a strong mystical edge as well as a theological one, if I may distinguish the two. Yum!