Retreat Notes, pt. 3

Pt. 3 in a series of notes I wrote during a silent retreat in Boston, VA. These ones are short notes I took down while listening to a sermon (it was silent for us, not for the speakers), so I’ll publish pt. 4 later today.

  • St. Paul was a tentmaker, and believed that a man who worked was good, contrary to the Roman view of working. (Acts 18:1-3 describes him working with Aquila and Priscilla, who have some sort of mom & pop tent shop).
  • Praying to God to do well on a test doesn’t eliminate the need to study, a parallel to Papal Infallibility. (see Xavier’s life)*.
  • Even before the Fall, Adam had the responsibility of tilling the soil. (ed. It’s curious that in Paradise, work is still considered a virtue, but this classification of work is distinct from the more extreme post-Fall labor, as epitomized by Genesis 3:19).
  • Problem of pain: imagine a society where physical pain was impossible (Man’s Free Will is restrained here) but not the ability to speak freely, even badly. Sounds good, but is incredibly awful in practice: prison, internet chatrooms, etc. It becomes very isolating. The harsh rhetoric replaces physical violence. Dehumanizing. (ed. this was sort of a sketch of a thought more than anything concrete – I’d be curious to know what anyone thinks of the idea of a world like I described).
  • Unity of Life: Becoming more like Jesus in His first 30 years… or St. Joseph.

*ed. St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits, had the gift of tongues. He was a pretty amazing guy. It’s said that this gift allowed him to speak in the native language of people in the Far East who had never heard the Christian message. But he didn’t always have the gift – only when the Holy Spirit came over him: it wasn’t a faucet he could just turn on-and-off at will, as I understand. So he had to study and work hard to learn these languages (a process which I imagine would be all the more frustrating when he’d been speaking them fluently the day before). I think my point in including that parenthetical is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t give us extraordinary gifts to make us lax in our Faith, but the opposite.

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