Monday, September 10, 2012

just to move the blog into the top bracket....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

St. Benedict Questions

1. In the prologue, St. Benedict uses the metaphor of a knight fighting for a king and calls upon monks to "take up the strong, bright weapons of obedience." What practices or behaviors do you think he would be referring to, and in what way are they weapons?
2. St. Benedict refers to the need to "open our eyes to the deifying light". What do you think he means here?
3. In several places mention is made of dashing ones thoughts against Christ. What is this, and how would one do it?
4. What is Benedict's justification for some degree of strictness or severity in his Rule?
5. Describe the four kinds of monks, and explain the hierarchy that Benedict places them in and why. What makes cenobites the "strongest" kind?
6. What reasons does St. Benedict give for requiring such stout and upright character of any man who would be abbot? Which of these reasons or character traits would you also want to find in other types of leaders (political, athletic, military, etc.)?
7. Explain the three-fold approach of "Reprove, entreat, rebuke." Why should the abbot avail himself of such a strategy?
8. Why does Benedict suggest the Abbot call upon the other monks for input in making decisions?
9. Which of the instruments of Good Works (ch. 4) do you think are most common in our culture? and which are most lacking? Give examples of each and explain why you think they are so common / rare.
10. Why is obedience alone not enough? What must it be coupled with to be found pleasing to God?
11. What harm is there in idle chat or humorous conversation that silence is to be preferred? Has our culture lost sight of the value of slience? Either way, give examples, and explain if we are better or worse for it.
12. Briefly summarize Benedict's "12 Step Program" toward humility? Why is humility so valuable in the monastery? To what extent whould it be beneficial outside the monastery?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Service Hour Reminder

Students, please remember that the deadline for the completion and submission of your five service hours is only a few weeks away. The form can be found on the school website at
and will also be uploaded to school weblockers.

Same Story....Different Day

Hey scholars,
we'll have questions in the AM...sorry to keep you waiting with baited breath. I know you were so looking forward to them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

St. Patrick Questions, pt. I

1. Why does St. Patrick immediately begin by addressing himself as “a sinner, unlearned, the lowliest of men”? Why does he put forth such a low opinion of himself?

2. With a deacon for a father and a priest for a grandfather, why do you think Patrick did not embrace the faith of his family as a young boy? Is this a common trend among young people (to be lukewarm about faith)? If so, why? And is that a bad thing?

3. St. Patrick turns to prayer in the midst of his captivity. Do you think that, generally speaking, it takes a crisis or catastrophe to bring people to the point of developing their spiritual life? Explain.

4. Why was the captain and ship’s crew reluctant to take St. Patrick on board? What do you think the meaning is of their strange custom of “making friends”?

5. After the ship lands Patrick and the crew travel by land for weeks. What biblical story do you find echoing through his account of this event? Provide as correlations and explanations as you can.

6. When he was about your age St. Patrick committed some unnamed sin that came back to haunt him as an adult. Do you think it just that a sin of one’s youth could have such lasting effects?

7. One does not typically think of St. Patrick as a mystic, and yet we read that he was prone to visions throughout his life. What role do these visions play in his life and ministry? How (and why) does our contemporary culture respond to such claims of mystical visions?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

something different

Hey guys, if you're looking for St. Augustine questions we're going to hold off until class tomorrow. Things will be a little different tomorow - including the location of class. See you in the morning.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

St. Augustine Questions, pt. 1

These questions take us through part 1, Chapter 6.
1. What do you think Augustine means by his desire being “not to be more sure of [God] but to be more steadfast in [Him]?
2. What is the single thing that Augustine identifies as preventing him from giving himself over wholly to the Christian faith?
3. He points out that neither Christ nor St. Paul forbid marriage, so why does he not pursue that path and choose to live his life as a married Christian man.
4. Augustine says that God and His word are “everywhere implied” in the writings of the Platonists. Do a little digging on the Platonists and identify some Christian values that are implied in Platonic thought.
5. Victorinus asked “Then is it walls that make Christians?” His same argument is made today by those who assert that they are Christian but do not “go to Church”. Is the argument any more valid coming from Victorinus than it is today?
6. St. Augustine observes that human nature is to love “regained” things more than those that we have had all along. Do you agree that this is in fact part of human nature? Provide an example from scripture that reflects this as part of God’s nature as well?
7. Again, Augustine observes that “the greater joy is heralded by greater pain.” Does this mean that it is impossible for us to know great joy without great pain? Explain – provide an example from your life and a theologically based example. How does Augustine’s life reflect this maxim? 8. Compare Augustine’s metaphor of the Chain with that of St. Gregory of Nyssa. How could you combine these metaphors.
9. St. Augustine writes at length about how he postpones his conversion and keeps saying later, and later still. He then says the “law of sin is the fierce force of habit”. Does this mean that by repeating a sin we forfeit our will and give the sin control? Explain.
10. Why do you think the influence of the story of St. Anthony is not as strong today as it was on Augustine and Alypius?