Students at Saint Anselm College are seeking to amplify their voices of faith so as to preserve the Catholic and Benedictine foundations that make Saint Anselm College unique.
Senior Jaycen Carroll is one of these voices. Carroll hosted a program on Monday, April 15 entitled “What is the Catholic Vision?”
The program was a discussion based event, held in the LLC Classroom, and featured exemplar pillars of faith at Saint Anselm College including Theology Professor Kevin McMahon and members of the Monastic Community: The Right Reverend Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., Father Benedict Guevin, O.S.B., and Brother Titus Phelan, O.S.B.
The discussion included a plethora of different topics all falling under the umbrella of the Catholic Vision. Fr. Benedict defines the Catholic Vision as a reflection of Heaven on Earth; seeing the world through the eyes of Christ.
Following this definition, the majority of the conversation centered on how we as Catholics are to live out our faith. Professor McMahon and the Monks each had enlightening answers that can certainly aid in our own faith journey.
Professor McMahon highlighted his marriage as one of the main ways in which he lives out his Catholic faith.
As McMahon states, the love shared between man and wife is a reflection of the love that Christ has for His bride the Holy Catholic Church Additionally, participation in the receiving of the Eucharist is another way for one to live within the Catholic Vision.
For in the Eucharist, Christ is fully giving Himself over, just as He did upon the Cross. The graces from such a uniting moment allow us to imitate Him more perfectly, offering the opportunity to live in a kind of Heaven on Earth as Fr. Benedict mentions earlier.
Abbot Mark spoke of the three vows one takes when entering a Benedictine Monastery: Stability, Obedience, and Conversatio Morum.
In entering into these vows, the monk is able to better imitate Christ who is the model, the ideal monk. Conversatio Morum helps one to enter into the Catholic Vision, for it refers to a conversion of one’s life, a handing over of oneself to God and allowing His will to direct your entire self. Fr. Benedict also shared his agreement in Abbot Mark’s reflections.
Brother Titus aptly and succinctly shared that his view of the Catholic Vision is to look upon the world with the eyes of Christ. Sharing in the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila, Br. Titus urged those in attendance that to be within the Catholic Vision is to recognize the presence of Christ in all things, especially in our fellow neighbor.
To find Christ in each moment, to see the Risen Lord in every sunset, in every smile, in every act of love. That is the Catholic Vision and that should be the goal for all Catholics. For it is in seeing Christ that one is able bring Heaven to earth.
Jaycen Carroll answered my question posed to him on the meaning of the Catholic Vision with this response:
“The Vision for all Catholics should be to live a life with God in Heaven, to desire total and utter union with God. This desire will transform our lives.”
Those who are called by God will heed the words spoken by these mentors of faith and will continue to apply the Catholic Vision into their daily lives.