My time in Cincinnati is drawing to a close. I leave tomorrow for Tennessee. There I will visit with the family of my friend Paul Coakley about whom I have written here, here, and here. I will have the opportunity to visit Paul’s grave while there, and, to be honest, I am not too sure how it will go. The visit will be the first time I’ve been to Tennessee since Paul’s funeral in January, 2015 and how well I will emotionally handle the visit is unknown. I do look forward to visiting with his wife and children. I have presents for the kiddos!
My time in Cincinnati has been very good. My friends have been quite kind to put up with me for nearly a week now. I have tried to keep to myself for the most part and not interrupt their daily routine. The past few days have seen three trips up to Dayton where I had some business. I am happy to say that much has been accomplished and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this business in the future.
Yesterday I was able to visit with two of my Household brothers. The first visit was to WS’ home and farm north of Cincinnati. At first I was not sure if it was his house as I was driving down the road, but I saw the Blessed Mother statue outside and she pointed the way. For the most part, WS and I relaxed and ate some good bacon and eggs (farm fresh, of course) with his family. WS’ home was quite beautiful and in a rather quiet, rural area. He showed me around the property and the livestock he was raising.
It was so peaceful and this stirred up my monastic sensibilities. All the craziness in my life makes me appreciate all the more these peaceful moments. The relative calm and tranquil environment in WS’ area is ideal for raising a family and, truly, they have been blessed.
Last night I had the grace to meet one of my Household brothers who was ordained earlier this year to the priesthood. I received his blessing, kneeling, and observed the tradition of kissing the hands of the newly-ordained. It was somewhat surreal as I remember him from college and his becoming a priest never entered my mind.
Due to my theological and vocational background, I enjoy the ability to shop-talk well with clergy. A pressing issue, it seems to me, about which priests are aware rather intimately is division in the Church at this time. One such division is over the Latin language. This division baffles me because the matter is more simple than one would think. As a Latin teacher, my saying such should not come as a surprise.
People are sometimes curious and ask me “Why Latin? It’s a dead language.” I respectfully disagree.
After I became Catholic, I began to become involved in Internet apologetics. I associated with several people and quickly discovered the imperative that is knowing the sources of Christian thought in their original languages. Holy Mother Church herself has seen this imperative and ordered that seminarians and priests be “well hardened” (bene calleant) in the language.
Latin continues to be a living language as it is an intimate part of our heritage. So long as people desire this heritage and wish to advance it, one cannot say Latin is dead.
Later today I attend a graduation party. It promises to be a lot of fun and then I head out tomorrow morning for Tennessee. Time permitting, I’ll see what can be posted about that experience. After Tennessee, it is to one or two more stops before I head back home to Waco. It will be at least a 10-hour trip and I hope to break it up.
Any friends between Mississippi, Louisiana and Eastern Texas want to put me up for a night? I’m housebroken…honest!
-Kevin J. Symonds