Monday, June 24, 2002

Quo Vadis, Amice?

Today is my day off, so I've spent it relaxing: slept in, caught up on some correspondence, and had a leisurely lunch with a friend.

I have also done some updating to my home page, Quo Vadis? I've uploaded a couple more of my homilies and slightly re-organized it. If you haven't seen it, please visit! In addition to my homilies and articles, you can also see some pictures of me, from my ordination. I hope to have more pics uploaded soon.

I selected the name of my home page because the question "where are you going?" (which is what Quo Vadis is Latin for) became a central one for me in the years I was discerning my vocation. For those unfamiliar with the story, legend has it that during the persecution of Nero, St. Peter decided to flee Rome for safety. On his way out, he passed Jesus, who was walking into the city. Peter asked Christ "Quo Vadis, Domine?" The Lord replied that he was going back into the city: since Peter was fleeing and abandoning his flock, He would have to go back into Rome and be crucified again. This vision had the effect of recalling Peter to his duty: he returned to Rome where he was later martyred. There is a Church on the outskirts of Rome where this event is believed to have taken place.

The Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote a novel based on the Quo Vadis? legend which had two important effects on me: It fired my imagination with enthusiasm for the faith and helped strengthen my then-nascent sense of vocation. It also inspired me with curiosity and the desire to learn and study more the foundation of our Church on the Apostles. This led me, eventually, to graduate study of Patristics at the Catholic University of America. So the book made quite an impact on me. Some of you may have seen the movie, based on the novel, starring Deborah Kerr. The movie is one of the less memorable examples of the 1950's religious/historical epic, a la The Robe. The book is much, much better than the movie: if you haven't read it, you should!