It has been a long couple of weeks as this part of my studies come to a close. Tonight there was a lecture offered as an inspiration and an encouragement, but I had a paper to complete and thought I might not go, but then changed my mind and went.
I’m very pleased that I did.
Michael Foley is Associate Professor of Patristics at Baylor University in Waco Texas. His specialist area is the political, philosophical and theological thought of St. Augustine of Hippo. All sounds a bit heavy? Well tonight his topic was “Drinking with the Saints” and when I read that I thought I might set the study aside for the night and go to hear him.
His talk was inspirational. His book with the same title is available at this link.
In a society that suffers from abuse of alcohol, we forget that there is a divine path between the judgemental teetotaller and the drunkard. We forget that following the wedding feast at Cana, and the institution of the Eucharist which requires wine, monks throughout history have developed our taste with an ability to make and to appreciate beer and wine as well as spirits and liqueurs among God’s great gifts.
Mike’s talk covered the importance of learning to drink well, teaching our young this skill, and the difference between drinking to forget and drinking to remember, along with the art of toasting and clinking glasses (resembling the joyful ringing of church bells)
Now I am off for some merriment with classmates on one of our last nights together.