Course: Developing Your Own Spirituality, Unit III
Remembering & anticipating, imagining & feeling
Starts 10am Thu May 2
(This is a repeat of the March Course)
In Unit I we focused on some general principles underlying the development of a healthy spirituality. In Unit II we began to focus more on particular concrete facets of spirituality. In Unit III we will continue to do that. We often hear the advice: “Forgive and forget”. Why might this be very bad advice? What is the relationship between the past and the future in shaping the human journey?
What place do images, symbols and rituals have in human thriving? Can we think well without imagination being a crucial part of the process? What part do feelings play in our becoming fully alive? What happens when we do not integrate our feelings into our daily living? What happens when we do integrate our feelings in our daily living?
Course: Mysticism - Plain or Flavoured?
Thomas Ryan SM PhD
Starts 10am Tue May 7
What exactly is meant by ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics? Often the words are associated with special people having special experiences of the divine. Alternatively, what did Karl Rahner SJ mean when he said over 50 years ago that ‘the Christian of tomorrow will either be a mystic—someone who has “experienced” something—or nothing at all’?
This four-week seminar considers these two questions. The first week taps our Christian tradition about a proper understanding of ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics.’ The next three weeks, using passages from their writings, explores what we can learn from two 20th century authors about mysticism and the presence of God at work in their lives.
Film Lectio II - A Human Search and The New Creation in Christ
Starts 10am Wed May 22
Repeated 6pm Wed May 22
Born into English middle class in 1906 and Oxford educated, Bede Griffiths OSB was a brilliant religious scholar and prolific author. This film tells his story, from his experiment with communal living in the English countryside, to his decision to become a Benedictine brother, and his creation of a meeting place for East and West at an ashram in Southern India. It was there he spent his last 37 years as a Catholic monk living as a Hindu holyman.
He wrote many books widely viewed as spiritual classics, including The Golden String, Return to the Center, A New Vision of Reality, and The Marriage of East and West.
Course: Thomas Aquinas on Charity
Starts Tuesday June 4
This course will involve a careful reading of section of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s writings on charity, centred on Summa Theologiae II-II qq. 23 – 27. Students will be introduced to Thomas and instructed in how to read his work. Thomas understands charity as a habit created in the human soul by the Holy Spirit. Its object is God, who without grace is beyond the human will. In loving God, a person loves other human beings in so far as they are ordered to God. In this way, Thomas unites the commandments of the Gospel.
Course: Unmasking Violence - Reimagining the Gospel with René Girard
Susan Connelly rsj, PhD
Starts 10am Wednesday June 12
René Girard has been called "the new Darwin of the human sciences". His insights into the origins of violence are sheer gift to our modern world.
This course will be an exploration of some of his thought, with personal and global application. It will investigate aspects of human imitation which show how we are all interdependent. The consequent realities of rivalry, scapegoating, sacrifice and violence will be explored using Girard's work in various disciplines, including literature.
Course: Restorative Dialogue - The Explicit Practice of Relationships
Terry O'Connell OAM
Starts 10am Tues Aug 6
In this series of talks, you will be invited on a ‘journey’ to discover how restorative dialogue helps build and sustain healthy relationships. Estrangement and separation often result from our inability to deal with vulnerability. By understanding the ‘why’ of relationships, the ‘what’ we do to strengthen those relationships becomes more purposeful.
Restorative dialogue focuses on harm and relationships, rather than blame and consequences. It involves conversations about inclusion, respectful challenge and learning. Its explicit nature helps us to better understand self and others.
Course: The Mystics - Pathfinders to the Spiritual
Sr. Patty Andrew osu
Starts 10am Tue Sept 3
Three sessions will be presented by Sr. Patty Andrew osu, featuring several men and women from the Christian mystical tradition who have illuminated the mystical path for those seeking a heart understanding of the divine.
The first session will offer a brief introduction to the nature of mysticism. It will then explore the mystical heart of Francis of Assisi and his desire to be continuously in the presence of the crucified one. Following this we will visit the mystical writings of Hildergard of Bingen and enter these through her frequently used Latin word “Viriditas.” Such a word for Hildergard conveys vitality, fecundity, fruitfulness, verdure, abundance and growth.
Course: The Holy Spirit in the Gospel of St John
Dr Robert Tilley
Starts Wednesday Sep 25
John’s Gospel is often styled the ‘sacramental Gospel’ in that it has much to say about baptism and the Eucharist. And yet the odd thing is that this is the only Gospel not to include the words of the institution of the Eucharist, instead it includes an account of Jesus’ promises to the Apostles. Chief among these promises is that of the sending of the Holy Spirit.
But this sending, the Apostles are told, is dependent on Jesus ascending to the Father. Then, when He comes, the Holy Spirit will glorify the ascended Jesus and make Him truly and really present in the Apostolic Church.
Course: The Poetry of Grace V
Sacred Silence in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets with a special focus on “Little Gidding”.
Starts Wednesday Nov 6
This four part seminar series will explore the ways in which poetry seeks to express the inexpressible. In T.S. Eliot’s own words from “Burnt Norton” ( the first of the four quartets):
Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Days of Solitude and Silence 2019
Next Date: May 4
Aquinas Academy has a place of solitude and silence called "Nazareth". It is situated 75 minutes from the Sydney CBD at Colo.
We organize special days on which we take small groups there for a few hours of solitude and silence.