Theology Update for the Week of June 28

Dear friends in Christ,

There has been a change (again) for today’s class: We will be on the 5th floor (as usual). For two or three weeks, starting July 5, we will be down in Andrew Hall for the Sunday class.

The class today, The Mystery of Reading Scripture, will look some more at John 9, the story of the man born blind. With Father Daniels, we’ll look at a number of ways that story works allegorically and “tropologically” (which is to say, as a moral lesson or exemplar). Scripture does apply to our lives, and that is because it witnesses to the “totus Christus,” the whole Christ, which includes his church, which includes us. We welcome visitors every week. The class starts at 10 a.m. and we have coffee and tea in the room (if they can find their way, also, to the 5th floor).

On Monday at 12:40pm, I will repeat the Sunday class. If you are in the area on Monday, consider dropping in. The class lasts 40 minutes, and meets on the 2nd floor.

We’ll be wrapping up “The Mystery of Reading Scripture” on July 5/6, and then on July 12/13 I’ll start a new series on the 39 Articles of Religion.

On Monday, July 13, the “Good Books & Good Talk” seminar will take up Shakespeare’s Hamlet. If you read the text, you’re welcome to the conversation: in Andrew Hall from 6:15 to 7:45pm.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of my ordination as a deacon. I marked the day by a trip to Dutchess County, where I went right after ordination and remained for some 18 years. A member of my parish back then worked at the Nabisco box factory in Beacon. That factory has long closed, but is now a remarkable gallery, “Dia:Beacon.” It is an immense building, with several huge spaces for large installations, all of course modern and non-representational. But the light! For the most part, it comes in through the vast windows and angled skylights, as it did for the factory workers before.

There you will find “Times of the Day” by Blinky Palermo. (If you google “Times of the Day by Blinky Palermo” you can see a few images.) “Times of the Day” at Dia are six sets of four squares, each set being a day. Each square has a predominant central color, and then a contrasting color in stripes on top and bottom. And each set moves from (if you want to think of it this way) waking, to midday, to evening, to night; from gentleness, to heat, to calm, to dark. I found myself taking the room slowly, and taking the six days as a week of work — with a non-present seventh day.

To visit “Dia:Beacon” makes a lovely day-trip, and it is easily done on Metro-North. And right now the Hudson Valley is verdant, and the river views such as people come from all over the world to see. New York! I’m glad God brought me here, a wet-behind-the-ears deacon driving his young family from Albuquerque to Wappingers Falls over four days in a little Plymouth Horizon; brought me here where, in due course and as part of other days of other weeks, I met you also.

Father Austin