Theology: October 2009 Archives

Leaning on the Master

| | Comments (0)

I frequently stand in awe of people who, like Pope Benedict, can draw my attention to the essentials of faith, reason and culture. His audience on Wednesday where he speaks about St. Bernard is one of these instances because he shows me the beauty of St. Bernard, the purpose of theology study, life with the saints, and why we have to suffer some things for the Kingdom. For example, the Pope offers a corrective in my work as a seminarian.

St resting on Jesus' Chest.jpg

Here are a few germane sentences with emphasis added: In one place in the talk Pope says: "Faith is above all an individual and intimate encounter with Jesus; it means experiencing His closeness, His friendship and His love." He continues "St. Bernard, solidly based on the Bible and on the Fathers of the Church, reminds us that without a profound faith in God, nourished by prayer and contemplation, by a profound relationship with the Lord, our reflections on the divine mysteries risk becoming a futile intellectual exercise, and lose their credibility. Theology takes us back to the "science of the saints," to their intuitions of the mysteries of the living God, to their wisdom, gift of the Holy Spirit, which become the point of reference for theological thought."

And given that I think there's much discussion in a seminary work, sometimes too much discussion, I am leaning St. Bernard as he says, "but perhaps He can be sought better and found more easily with prayer than with discussion. We put an end here to the book, but not to the search." 

(Pope Benedict XVI, Wednesday General Audience, October 21, 2009) 


Father Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., professor of theology at Fordham University and adjunct professor of dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary will present a lecture at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, Wednesday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m.

His subject will be  "Celibacy in the Early Church."  This lecture is part of the seminary's ongoing Dunwoodie Lecture Series. All topics for this year will center around the "Year for Priests" which was announced by Pope Benedict XVI last June and will run until June 19, 2010.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

About the presenter 

Father holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Freiburg in Germany. He entered the Society of Jesus after graduating from Regis High School in Manhattan.  He holds degrees in classics, philosophy and theology from Fordham University and Woodstock College. He was ordained a priest by  Terence Cardinal Cooke in 1971. Before coming to Fordham University in 1990 as a professor, he taught at Marquette University, in Milwaukee for fifteen years. He has held visiting chairs at John Carroll University, in Cleveland and at Boston College. In 2007, he was a visiting professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Gregorian University in Rome. His area of specialization is patristics or the study of the Fathers of the Church. Since 1997, he has been the managing editor of TRADITIO, a journal of ancient and medieval thought, history and religion published by Fordham University where he served as chairman of the department of theology at from 1992 - 1995.

He is the author, editor or translator of twelve books as well as the author of more than fifty scholarly articles. His works include, "The Bible, the Church and Authority: The Canon of the Christian Bible in History and Theology." One of Father's current project is writing on a book on St. John Chrysostom and translating into English for the first time two works by St. Augustine.

This  lecture is sponsored by the Terence Cardinal Cooke Chair in Sacred Theology at the seminary.

Information: 914-968-6200, ext 8292

playground.jpgG. K. Chesterton once wrote, "Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground. We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff's edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased." Orthodoxy Ch. 9

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Theology category from October 2009.

Theology: September 2009 is the previous archive.

Theology: November 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.