The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H., hosted Dominican theologian Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception earlier this month for a special lecture, the College reported.
Fr. Cessario delivered a lecture to Thomas More students on "The Immaculate Conception and Chastity."
The College reported:
“According to St. Thomas,” began Fr. Cessario, “chastity brings about the tranquility necessary for the contemplation of truth.” Under six points, he proceeded to explain how the Immaculate Conception relates to justice, original sin, and the Church’s practice of devotion to Mary. “ Lust, etymologically speaking, is not in itself a bad thing” he said. The problem, rather, lies in the disordered relations of pleasure and desire caused by a defect in the human will and intellect: in other words, sin. Commenting on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Fr. Cessario noted that there seems to be an inverse relationship between the degree of sin and the attendant shame. While injustice is graver than, say,having a few drinks too many, most people are willing to admit that they were unjust before they would admit to being intoxicated. The problem of disordered appetites also extends to the intellectual life, because what is desired influences what is thought. As Fr. Cessario went on to say, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is a bodily prefigurement of the Redemption. Mary’s purity does not place her on a pedestal, but is given for the sake of others—both because she is the Mother of the Savior, and because she is an exemplar of virtue. Devotion to her, Fr. Cessario said, leads to chastity through an adjustment of thinking, and above all through prayer.
After the talk, the College held Solemn Vespers and recited a prayer entrusting the institution to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Catholic Education Daily reported last month when Thomas More College began the 33-day process of consecration "to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary".
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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