Why did God forgive a man who killed millions? That was the question Father Nathan left us with, to mull over as the week continued: Was the justice carried out in history correct, or was God’s mercy right?
It left a heaviness on me as he put it into perspective; generations upon generations of my family and friends had all been wiped out, only to end with forgiveness for the man who had overseen it all.
Justice demanded that man’s death, did it not?
On that fun note, we transitioned into Mass mode, the white church on the block in the center of that town brought to life by the presence of the 45 and more.
I distinctly remember kneeling to pray briefly before Sister Francesca asked all interested individuals to join the choir sitting in the middle section.
My eyes shot open as I weighed the possibilities: Sit comfortably and sing from my position or join the choir and actually unveil some pitchy and distinctly amateur singing talent?
It was one of those moments where I didn’t exactly think straight and went with the spontaneous, gut reaction: I stood up and moved to join four other fellow men, then stood awkwardly, waiting. Alex, Luke, Drew, and Tommy were all prepared as Sister Francesca handed us songbooks.
There was little to no practice beforehand, and in that moment, I realized how little I knew of the Saint Paul Mass. In short, I was flying blind.
Lunch followed Mass, then sports in the form of Ultimate Frisbee. Four teams, two games: Girls vs. Girls and Guys vs. Guys with Rolled Sleeves.
Now, if you’ve met me, you’ll understand that I don’t do sports too often. After those two days of hiking that basically wiped me out, it was the most I could do to stay back and guard the wide expanse marking my team’s goal.
Every time we scored a point, I confess I knew myself to be a spectator more often than not. The thrill of the chase was when our opponents pushed us back, and even then I participated very little. Yet… it was nice to enjoy the outdoors without walking a quick march.
A few drops of welcome rain came as we played and sported, and as the hours dragged on toward 3:15, I felt myself slowing down further and further.
Finally, Rachael came with the bell to call those who were interested to “To The Heights”, or a more in-depth discussion on what had taken place in Philosophy class earlier.
This led into Theology, where we saw how there are things that are beyond the boundaries of logical reasoning set by the world. Order, for example: There is something outside of scientific bounds that is the reason for a natural order to the way life is, i.e. Why are the stars and planets so perfectly aligned that we can survive on Earth? Happenstance?
Did the universe create itself from nothing?
If we are actually talking about nothing, then we from our human experience (going back to philosophy) know that nothing cannot suddenly spring from nothing. It’s not the done sort of thing, thus there has to be something that first moved/formed/created.
If you desire to actually learn from an expert, have a look at Saint Thomas Aquinas’ writings, like the Summa, which is quite the heavy read.
I could go on and on with this, but I must press forward as I relate all that remains.
Dinner, some chores, evening prayer and free time, then campfire. A fantastic performance was given by Ethan on his banjo, and yes, an encore was called for. And lastly, our traditional procession in honor of our Lady to close out the night.
TBC – M