January 14, 2020
All of Lander including our Wyoming Catholic College Students love Sinks Canyon. The natural beauty is breathtaking and on any given day regardless of the season, you can meet people hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping, birding, and mountain biking. Next week, however, you’ll be able to see another unexpected activity: processing, worshipping, and the blessing of the waters.
The Blessing of the Water is a part of the Eastern Christian celebration of Theophany, the Feast of Christ’s baptism. In addition, this feast opens for us a new and larger understanding of time—specifically liturgical time and the liturgical calendar.
Wyoming Catholic College Professor Kyle Washut and reflected on these things for some time and is our guest on this edition of The After Dinner Scholar.
January 7, 2020
We celebrated Epiphany last Sunday. We will celebrate the Baptism of Jesus next Sunday then the following Monday we begin “Ordinary Time.” There’s something going on here—actually many things going on here—that cannot be summed up with Google Calendar and a wristwatch.
Google Calendar and wristwatch time is what philosopher Charles Taylor calls “secular time”: It’s 10 AM. I have a meeting at two this afternoon. The corporate quarter ends on January 30. The year is 2020.
But is that all there is to time? Is it merely an empty expanse of moments that we fill or is there—as Taylor suggests—something more to time, something that, as he puts it, gathers and reorders secular time?
Dr. Jeremy Holmes has thought a great deal about the nature of time and is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.
November 5, 2019
In his newest book, The Irony of Modern Catholic History, George Weigel argues that in our secular and increasingly non-rational culture, the Catholic intellectual tradition could save the mind of the West. Similarly in a new book-in-progress, Wyoming Catholic College’s Dr. Jason Baxter argues that in our disenchanted and materialistic culture, Catholic mysticism could save the spirit of the West.
Dr. Baxter’s new book is about mysticism and about what we can learn about prayer from the Church Fathers. A few weeks ago, he shared his initial chapter with our faculty.
In that chapter, Dr. Baxter starts by noting that beginning in the early twentieth century, “for the first time in human history, it was possible to spend your whole life not just without encountering God, but without knowing you were supposed to.”
The question is: Where do we go from there?
September 10, 2019
After graduating from Wyoming Catholic College in 2013, Travis Dziad completed his Masters in Theology in Austria at the International Theological Institute. Then he went into the Ph.D. in Theology at Ave Maria University.
This summer in addition to returning to Wyoming Catholic College as Teaching Fellow for Theology, Leadership, and Outdoor Education, soon-to-be-Dr. Dziad successfully defended his dissertation which was on the timely topic of the inspiration of Scripture. Prof. Dziad is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.
July 16, 2019
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship,” wrote St. Thomas Aquinas. In fact, he went on, “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.”
Jesus made it clear that while the first and greatest commandment is to love God, the second is love for neighbor. And “neighbor” for Jesus even extends to enemies.
In the second part of the second part of the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas explored the question of love for God, neighbors, enemies, and friends.
At The Wyoming School of Catholic Thought, theologian Dr. Jeremy Holmes led us through Thomas’ thinking. Here, in part, is what he said.
Texts from St. Thomas Aquinas:
- Summa Theologae II.II, Question 23, Article 1; Question 25, Article 1; Question 26, Article 3
- Disputed Questions on the Virtues, Question 2, Article 2
May 28, 2019
Most Catholics know only the Roman or Latin Novus Ordo rite of the Eucharist. That’s not a surprise since it’s that rite that is celebrated almost exclusively in most of our churches. But the Catholic Church has not one, not two, but twenty-three different rites falling into six basic families: Latin, Alexandrian, Antiochian, Armenian, Chaldean and Constantinopolitan better known as Byzantine.
Our Wyoming Catholic College community is no stranger to the Byzantine rite. A nearby priest has celebrated that rite, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, regularly. Beginning this fall, however, we will all become even more familiar with the Byzantine liturgy as the college welcomes Fr. David Anderson as a second college chaplain. Fr. Anderson is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.
May 7, 2019
In the old cowboy movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," once Valance is on the ground with a bullet in him, someone calls for the doctor. The doctor turns the body face up with his boot, looks at the corpse, and says, "Dead." One hundred or more years ago, life and death were relatively simple, but they're not any more.
While there are good reasons to rejoice in modern medical technique and technology, questions of life and death have grow in number and complexity.
Dr. Kent Lasnoski ended his moral theology course with Wyoming Catholic College seniors by moving from the philosophical and the theological to the conundrums force on us by medical and biotechnical advancements. Dr. Lasnoski is our guest on this week's After Dinner Scholar.
April 23, 2019
The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, “Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the ‘"Feast of feasts,’ the ‘Solemnity of solemnities,’ just as the Eucharist is the ‘Sacrament of sacraments’ (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter ‘the Great Sunday’ and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week ‘the Great Week.’ The mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.”
In his Compendium Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas reflected on the meaning of the resurrection. This Easter Week, Dr. Jeremy Holmes explains how Thomas understood the resurrection of Christ and its relationship to our resurrection.
March 19, 2019
There are dozens of would-be explanations for the polarization we as a culture and body politic experience today. One plausible explanation we rarely hear about is nominalism as over against realism.
Do the words we use—“cat,” “canyon,” “mountain,” and most important “man”—describe universals or merely particulars? Can we meaningfully talk about human nature and what it means to be one of us? Is human nature something real that is outside of our thoughts or is it merely an internal, subjective construct we apply to many particulars that seem somewhat alike?
While these seem like rather abstract and academic question, Wyoming Catholic College senior Jack Thrippleton argued in his senior thesis and oration, “Realism and Nominalism cannot truly argue against each other, for they do not share enough premises.”
Jack is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.
March 5, 2019
“Lent,” wrote New Testament scholar Dr. N. T. Wright, “is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.”
And even if we already knew that, well… discipline and sacrifice come hard to most of us. As Pope St. John Paul II noted, “Our age, regrettably, is particularly susceptible to the temptation toward selfishness which always lurks within the human heart. …The spirit of the world affects our inner propensity to give ourselves unselfishly to others and drives us to satisfy our own particular interests.”
Lent is the needed antidote and our Wyoming Catholic College community takes Lent very seriously. Guiding us—students, faculty, and staff—through Lent is our college chaplain, Fr. Paul Ward. Fr. Ward is our guest this week on The After Dinner Scholar.