All posts tagged: anthonyoleck

Blessed Basil Moreau and Keeping Lent

1) What does the spirituality of Bl. Basil Moreau offer for the Christian looking to keep Lent? The spirituality of Basil Moreau offers a bold, vivid, and practical program for the renewal and reordering of one’s life on the journey of discipleship. The Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, like the Christian life itself, are ultimately aimed at re-integrating and renewing our memory, intellect, and will in conformity with Jesus Christ. The Spiritual Exercises offer us a plan for such renewal. Like the Exercises of St. Ignatius, they are a sort of itinerary of conversion. Basil encourages the exercitant (the one making the exercises) to “put off the old self” and to “put on the new self” of Christ. The centerpiece of Basil’s spirituality is this conformity to Christ, and conformity to his Paschal Mystery in particular: a project that begins in baptism and ends only in resurrection (Gawrych & Grove, eds., Basil Moreau: Essential Writings: 45). Christianity, for Moreau, is nothing more and nothing less than Christ’s life reproduced in each Christian. Thus …

Domus Dei, Domus Ecclesiae: Sacred Space and the Liturgy

We can convey a lot by how we choose to decorate our homes. Growing up, guests to our home could learn (at least on a surface level) that my family was Catholic, that we were Mexican-American, and that we were huge Notre Dame football fans simply by looking around our house. Visitors to my apartment now can learn about my interest in reading, my love for icons, and that I have a significant other without my even telling them—it’s written all over my walls. We are very deliberate with how we construct the space around us, and we try to foster certain experiences—comfort (how we organize our couches and chairs), hospitality (do we have refreshments sitting out?), a sense of importance (that display of trophies, medals, and awards in our sitting room)—and communicate certain aspects of our identity to those we welcome into these spaces. Space is important for worship, as well. This should come as no surprise, yet it often seems counterintuitive to people: are we Christians not the “true worshipers” who worship “the …

Making a Man: Marriage and the Evangelical Counsels

For Marcy, my bride-to-be, and for my friends in Holy Cross, who teach and challenge me every day to be a man of God. In an essay published a few weeks ago in Church Life, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, asked: can male religious be models of Christian masculinity? Radcliffe argued that through their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, male religious offer a model or a sign for young men entering adulthood: Adult identity demands a narrative that gives unity to one’s life, a sense of its direction and goal. The crazy vows of religious say something of this, by pointing to the final end of every human life, which is the Kingdom. What possible sense could it have to reject marriage unless one believes that we are on our way to the vision of God? The vows are a naked sign of what it means to be a human being, which is to say yes to God who calls us to himself. Two weeks before Radcliffe’s essay was published, I took my own step into adulthood …