Friday, July 15, 2011

Collegium 2011: Day Four

Our fourth day or the third day for the participants was one of my favorites. The focus was on living sacramentally. That meant allowing all that is, all that is taken in by our senses to speak to us. It means being reminded of the awesome generosity of the Creator. It meant listening, seeing, really seeing, touching and being touched by the world we live in.

My early morning walks, my time with the trees, the flowers, the birds and the rabbits was part of living sacramentally. I watched the participants and it seemed to me there were simply two types of participants; those who were intentionally living sacramentally and those who lived sacramentally during Collegium but were not aware of it. Now to make sure I am being sensitive to the Protestant participants and the non-Christian participants, I am not talking about the seven Sacraments of the Catholic church. I am talking about allowing the world to remind us of the miracles of the world, of life. I am talking about becoming aware of that which we had taken for granted.

So after breakfast we all gathered for Common Prayer. This was very special. We read the wisdom of numerous Christian leaders from various denominations. However, we also read the teachings of other faiths. Remembering a devout Muslim student who attended USF I felt privileged to honor her by reading from the Koran. It was a great way to begin the day.

After the service we had a break and spent time with one another outdoors. Then we proceeded to the Fenwick Theater to watch Babette’s Feast. I love this film. It touches me as a Catholic and as a Scandinavian-America.

Collegium 2011: Getting Ready for Babette's Feast

After the movie we had our own feast. In the courtyard among the flowers, the fountain and the distinct buildings we had a Champagne brunch. We discussed the film, the campus,and Collegium. Most of all we laughed and enjoyed each others company.

Collegium 2011: Our Feast

It was a lazy lunch. Afterward people walked, did some readings or spent time in Chapel. It was a great way to take in the teachings of the movie.

Collegium 2011: Our Feast II

After lunch we all went to combined groups to watch Michael Hines talk about “Finding God in All Things: A Sacramental World View.” It was a bookend performance of sacramental living.

The day continued with processing in the small groups. There was more prayer services. There was dinner at the Kimball Dining Hall. What made this day additionally special was the presentations by mentors Mat Schmatz and Karen Eifier. These were the presentations that made the Collegium journey real. These were the Catholic equivalent of testimonies. Participants left moved by what they heard.
Then, to top off a wonderful day many gathered for another evening social of drinks, company and laughs. It was a good day.

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