Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rape Counselor of Hippo, 413 C.E.

I've been reading Saint Augustine of Hippo's City of God. It is a rip-roarin' good time. Augustine has been very much maligned by some contemporary scholars, and I'm beginning to see how very wrong they are about him. For example: Augustine is said to have hated the body, sex, and women.

In City of God, I have noticed a remarkable sensitivity to the experiences of women, particularly the suffering of women due to Rome's war-mongering. Augustine devotes a significant portion of Book I to consoling Christian women who were raped during the sack of Rome, reassuring them that they have nothing to be ashamed of and that their chastity has not been compromised. He also tells them not to commit suicide, but is sympathetic toward women who have taken their own lives in grief.


Book III, chapter 21: Augustine is describing the depths of moral deterioration to which Rome sank in the period between the Second and Third Punic Wars. "In that very period," he writes, "the law called the Lex Voconia was passed, forbidding the appointment of a woman, even an only daughter, as heir. I cannot quote, or even imagine, a more inequitable law."

By his words may he be aquitted.

The quotation is from the Penguin Classics 1984 edition, translated by John O'Meara.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It begins ...

I am very happy to be living in a place with warm weather. But it also means parasitic bugs are out and about. I woke up this morning with several itchy bites. And just now, as I sat typing here at the Fuller library computer, I spotted and subsequently tore apart with my fingernails a blood-filled flea. AUGH! How could our apartment have become infested? There are no pets allowed in the apartment complex. 'Tis an ugly mystery.

Post-Lent Reflections

I had a lousy attitude about our Lenten fast this year. Brandon and I fasted from meat and dairy (an idea we adapted from Eastern Orthodox practice). And basically I just felt miserable and resentful about it the whole time and complained a lot.

Two Fridays ago (which was the Friday before finals week), my computer's fan broke and I had a very stressful, exhausting day. By the time Brandon came home, I was just about ready to blow the fast and go out and eat cheeseburgers to console myself. I felt Life owed me something for all that I'd suffered.

But even as I felt that I was owed something, I knew I wasn't. God does not want his children to become whiney and demanding in the face of discomfort. God wants us to learn to patiently endure unpleasantness, knowing that He will wring good out of it yet.

I could benefit a lot from having this attitude toward my classes at Fuller. I have often been disappointed and frustrated with the courses I've taken (two in particular come to mind ... ), but if I allow it, God will bring forth good fruit from seemingly wasted time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Adolescent Obsession Revives ...

During a study break yesterday I reacquainted myself with site that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Disneyland (and Disney World and Disney Tokyo) attraction, The Haunted Mansion. I'm hooked again ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Finals ... ugh ... week ...

My brain feels like a water logged sponge that I keep pouring water over, but it's just not absorbing anything new ... Oh well. I am happy thinking "I will be all done by Friday afternoon."

Sorry, but I have no mental energy with which to write anything edifying or entertaining now.