Friday, October 23, 2009

"Popular Piety"

In medieval history we always have to read about medieval piety which my Mennonite Professor just sums up as 'superstition' (though somehow the bible is magic without it being superstitious).

Anyway, I guess I have become one of those nameless masses of Catholics going through the ages with their superstition, but I have to say I kind of am glad.

For a long time reading my bible was the only spiritually edifying experience I had. Then it became taking communion, then confession, but finally it has become my Rosary (which I find myself praying in lecture and taking everywhere), and reading Newman and Ratzinger. I'm going through Cardinal Newman's "Apologia Pro Vita Sua" and I will admit, he isn't the brightest theologian, but it is a good story as it were, and I find his sermons admirable, and his prose excellent.

Ratzinger is just the most thoroughly Christian man I think I've ever read about. I remember in grade ten laughing at our Catholic teacher in the Mennonite High School I went to because she was crying over the news of the death of the pope. I said "but isn't he the Anti-Christ?" (honestly I'm not making this up) and I received the strict glares of the other Anabaptists, I guess we weren't allowed to say what our theology taught in public.

Anyway Ratzinger - great theologian, very pious man, and not really a modernist or a traditionalist, just a man with huge biblical and patristic knowledge firmly in the Augustinian tradition (a nice compliment to the Neo-Thomists). So Papa Benny and my Rosary and soon to be St. John Henry Newman are swiftly becoming my popular piety (in addition to my Bible reading and everlasting debates with the Reformed).

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