Giving & Receiving

Giving: This past Monday evening’s class we were to show up with 5 copies of the first draft of our paper, which I did and handed in. Incredible – some did not! The idea behind the 5 is Dear Professor will hand out 4 copies to 4 classmates, who will then critique the paper. I will, in turn, critique 4 classmate’s papers. Nice idea! I’m looking forward to the suggestions which we will receive and share as a class next Monday night.

The paper is coming along just fine. It has gone in a completely different direction than I had intended. Instead of looking at Eleanor of Aquitaine’s participation in the 2nd Crusade, I’ve started to follow a rabbit trail of how influential was the Fontevrault Abbey and its inhabitants on her as those who had higher notions of women than was the norm at that time. I also have found a very interesting article on the topic of clergy as guides to noble women, telling them to use their influence on their husbands to guide them to good economic choices and virtuous lives.

If any of you, my dear readers, have suggestions of authors or places where I can find reference to priestly cure/care of souls during the 12th century, I’d be ever so grateful. Basically, what I am looking for is any supporting documentation of the role of priests as father confessors during that period of time.

Receiving: Tonight at class I received 4 different classmate’s papers. One is on the Crusades and one on St. Bernard of Clairvaux. At first brief perusal, they are quite good. I hope to glean some references to help with my paper on Eleanor.

Tonight’s class was also a night of laughter. Poor Dear Professor was quite muddled trying to hand out papers so everyone got 4 to review. It just didn’t work out. He was quite humorous in his professorishness (is that a word?). We all laughed quite loudly through most of the class. He is a dear.

Also, after class Dear Professor asked me to hang around for 2 minutes which I did. We trotted to his office where he handed me ANOTHER BOOK for me to keep! It is called The Shape of the Liturgy by Dom Gregory Dix, Monk of Nashdom Abbey. It was written in 1945. I was so touched by Dear Professor’s gift and thinking of me. This is the second book he’s given me. I am saving them for summer reading.

The other exciting thing that happened today was my co-worker and I got to witness two male turkey’s and one female spend some pecking time in the yard behind the house/office! How cool was that? They are some BIG birds, I gotta tell ya! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so up close and personal! Their feathers were beautiful and the black was so shiney and smooth it looked almost like vinyl. I suggested we open the window and try to grab him by the neck so we could stuff him in the freezer for Thanksgiving dinner, but I was dissuaded of the idea. Though we had quite a lot of fun watching them walk about, watching the heavy wind ruffle their feathers, and add commentary to their swivel necked head rotations.

And so ends another Wednesday.

Glory to God for all things!


6 thoughts on “Giving & Receiving

  1. As Cyril said, I’ve heard nothing but praise for “The Shape of the Liturgy”. Happy reading!

    Wonderful to hear about the class and how it is going: it sounds wonderful.

  2. “…suggestions of authors or places where I can find reference to priestly cure/care of souls during the 12th century…”

    I am not sure if he will have anything specific but, if you have not already, you might want to check the writings of Metr. Hierotheos S. Vlachos, you can find some excerpts here:

  3. speaking of turkeys. One morning when our son was still little, he came running into our bed room to tell us about the big birds in the yard. We got up expecting to see some robins or bluebirds, which are big compared to sparrows and chickadees, instead we saw a wild tom turkey and about 4 females, his harem? Anyway, we watched for about 45 minutes as they walked through our yard snacking on grasshoppers and weeds.

    cuz annie

  4. Shape of the Liturgy is one of the greatest books of the last century, if not the greatest. Both he and I have given it away on several occasions (the one I have now he gave me and I parted with an older copy). As regards Eleanor, I would check the ITER bibliography data base under care of souls, confessions, femail piety, or even Eleanor of Aquitaine. G. R. Evans has a recent bio on Bernard which may point you in some good directions (I believe he it was who suggested to Eleanor to prod L-7 to go on crusade, though the king did this also as a penance for burning down a church with the parish in it). You may find Leclerq et al “The Spirituality of the Middle Ages” of some help also.


  5. Hmmmmm. I’m heading out of the office on an errand and I’ll be kicking this around, but on first blush this is an excellent topic to explore – as you know Eleanor died in the Abbey so she definitely had a love for the guidance she was given there. Also, of course there is the influence of the church and her spiritual advisor on the decision to go on Crusade.

    Does the paper you are reading on St. Bernard have any book ideas? It’s not an area I’ve explored so I’ll have to think on it.

    Great gift from your Prof! How sweet is that!

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