LOOKING BACKON 2020
Master of Arts in Catholic Studies Essay Presentations We congratulate the Catholic Studies graduate students who have completed their degrees this past year. Their master’s essay topics represent the depth to which Catholic intellectual tradition is related to the contemporary world’s most provocative and important conversations. Father Ryan Adorjan “The Christian ‘Yes’ and the Defeat of Nihilism in the Digital Age” Melina Arguello Sotro “Church: The Roadmap for a Lost Sojourner” Joseph Cavello “Reforming Catholic Legal Education with St. John Henry Newman” Shannon Dickson “Recalling theWords and Lives of Teachers with Augustine: Terence in the Teacher” Sister Sharon Rose Goellner “Accepting the Path to Sanctity: The Virtue of Acceptance in the Life of St. Therese of Lisieux” Katie Leahey , “Forming the Conscience in Family Life – St. John Henry Newman as a Guide for Parents” Karen Loome , “Mindfulness in a Secular Age” Sister Mary John Kramer “St. Augustine and Healing of Memory throughWord and Relationship at Cassiciacum” Sister Rita Marie Kampa “‘I Am Iron Man’: The Redemption of
Dinner guests of the sisters eating Babette’s feast.
a puritan or solely utilitarian attitude toward the material world because we see all as a gift from our creator. We are to see the physical as helping us, pointing us to the spiritual reality of a God who abundantly loves us and wants to draw us to him. Seemingly simple physical things point to eternal realities, revealing a deep sacramentality to the world. In seeking to grow in holiness and closer to heaven, we must seriously consider how the things of this world can help us on our journey. During “Babette’s Feast,” the lines between the physical and spiritual experience of a meal are blurred. This is one of the incredible gifts that mealtime can be: ultimately, leading us to God though a means of participating in his love and entering into a community of persons. Since we are created in the image and likeness of God – that is, a perfect Trinitarian community – we are also called to communion, first with God and then with others. A meal prepared with love and care has the power to draw a community together and lead to an experience
of grace. The feast that Babette prepares leads to the threshold of and ever so slightly lifts the veil of the divine. ETERNAL-LIFE-GIVING FOOD As Catholics, the paramount example and expression of food and community is the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “what material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life.” Just “as bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity.” This is the incredible beauty and power of the Eucharistic feast. Every time we participate in and receive the Eucharist, we have the opportunity to enter into a tangible and sacramental experience of the heavenly banquet where God physically becomes eternal-life- giving food. He knew that human persons need concrete, sensual ways to experience his goodness and love. In his great wisdom andmercy, God becomes our food, nourishing us around the Eucharistic table.
Modern Man Through Fortitude” Katherine Montenegro Cortez “Narrative Medicine: ACatholic Analysis”
St. Thomas Lumen Spring 2021 Page 19
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