Tuesday, October 09, 2007
College Opener: Wound, Smite, Kill The Passions!
Megapolis, USA: RBCU's* First Year Class Orientation had a somewhat different keynote this year: Bro. Antony Johnson, an 1983 alumnus, and more importantly, a Carthusian hermit.
"We decided to invite Bro. Antony after an unfortunate response to last year's 'Welcome to the High Life at RBCU' lecture, our annual lecture where an alum advises entering students what they really need to know about attending our Catholic University," said Dean of Students Dr. Keiran O'Donnell. "Last year's speaker showed up a little glassy-eyed gave them ratings of the local bars. I think she took the 'high life' theme a little too literally. So we re-titled the lecture 'Welcome to the Higher Life" and invited Bro. Antony to break them this year. Oh, I meant break them in."
Bro. Antony, who has returned to the desert and is not available for comment, reportedly stepped into the gym filled with new students and began to whisper for four minutes. He then took out a microphone and shouted, "Did you all get any of that?" Students, confused, shook their heads. "Well, that's God for you. Read about Elijah in the cave. If you clutter your minds with extra trash, like the constant TV, radio, parties every night, you won't hear a thing worthwhile."
After that, he knelt on the stage and commanded the students to pray silently to hear "whispers of wisdom" for five minutes. Then he delivered an animated talk on smiting "the passions": gluttony, fornication, love of money, anger, sorrow, despondency, vainglory, and pride.
"I loved it--he said the first thing he wanted us to do after the lecture was google this guy named John Cassian and read what he had to say about killing the passions. He said it was all about dropping addictions to what makes you unhappy and being open to true happiness, this hearing God's whispers stuff. I thought it made sense. I mean, who wants their lives controlled by addictions to stupid stuff?" said new student Allison Gregorvitch.
Not everyone was immediately won over. John Bakersfield admitted, "At first I thought it was a bit over the top. But then he really mixed it up with us, having us do a role-play by using 'air swords' to wound, smite, and kill the passions. I kind of got into that. I mean, I twisted my wrist, but I gave pride the whipping it deserves."
Another new student, Margot Lerieux, appreciated his desert perspective. "When you think about it, we are in college. College is about growing up. The passions seem so...high school, when you think about it." She says she is organizing posters for the dorms to remind students of his message (above right).
Many students flocked the stage at the end, asking Bro. Antony for 'a word,' but he smiled and said "Just become fire" and left.
Since students have complained of missing Bro. Anthony, the school has arranged for a showing of "Into Great Silence" this Saturday night.
*Really Big Catholic University