One conferee told me this year’s conference may have been the best money he’s ever spent. I can testify that I had an extraordinary experience, out of which I learned too much to record. I won’t have a lot of time during August to write about it, especially with the apprenticeship just around the corner, but I need to express what I can and I’m dying to hear from attendees to learn what they took home.
A brief note: I realized as never before how ideas are not puzzle pieces that we piece together so we can “know” the truth. They are flames of fire that, when true, purify the soul. They are dynamic, energies, rivers that nourish and transform. The soul rises and falls on the ideas it absorbs. The community grows and diminishes on the ideas it embodies. The nation rises and falls on the ideas it incorporates.
The idea of ideas, the principle of principles, is the idea of nature. It gave us Christian classical reailities such as freedom, virtue, truth, beauty. It’s loss and neglect have given us slavery, self-indulgence, radical relativism, despair, and death.
We ended the conference with the prayer of St. Ephraim:
Oh Lord and Master of my life
Take from the spirit of
lust for power
and idle talk
But give rather to your servant the spirit of