Today I took my first class at the Angelicum. It was a big moment for me to sit in a classroom as a student for the first time in 22 years. I have actually taught philosophy classes in those same classrooms. It was a delight to sit in a student seat and watch the professor do his thing–call role, learn the students’ names, engage us in the material, establish the way he conducts class, etc. He is a Dominican priest educated at Toulouse among other places and a very kind fellow.
The class is on the Eucharist. For having run a blog for 9 years called “Eucharistic Motherhood,” it is a dream come true to be sitting in this course. The texts selected by the professor are Fr. Roch Keretzky’s Wedding Feast of the Lamb which I have read and tried to self-teach but am eager to hear Fr. Blankenhorn’s presentation of it, and Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae on the Eucharist.
One insight that I really enjoyed from the first class actually had nothing to do with the Eucharist per se. Rather, Fr. Blankenhorn said that all Scripture is interpreted. There is no such thing as reading Scripture without an interpretive lenses. The Catholic Church recognizes this reality and so is transparent about what that lenses is and the role of Tradition in that interpretation. Lutherans, he said, are just now becoming aware of it, and are rather displeased to have to acknowledge it.
The fact of Scripture needing interpretation is the main reason why I became Catholic. Once I could see it, I couldn’t unsee it. As a Protestant, I read Scripture everyday. And my background understanding from sermons, Sunday school lessons, books, Calvin, Luther and soo forth were always at work helping me interpret the Bible. Some passages are featured as though written in bold; others a Protestant would almost like to cross out (such as James on works). As soon as I could see that my Protestant tradition was shaping my reading of Scripture, but proclaims “Sola Scriptura,” I realized that the Catholic Church is more honest in naming scripture and tradition as the authorities of our faith. While it was almost scary and I only reluctantly began to see the Catholic tradition as authoritative, I have come to embrace it and thank “mother Church” for her guidance in bringing me to Christ.
I am very exited to begin theological studies at the Angelicum! What a blessing of being here in Rome.