May 22, 2011
My students readily laugh at me, and for good reason. The other day we were reading an essay by Gilbert Meilander entitled, "I Want to Burden My Loved Ones," on the question of advanced directives. One sentence just particularly jumped out at me as I was reading aloud to them, and I said, "Do you see now, ladies, why I have a 'brain crush' on this man?" My students all nodded in agreement, and one girl also exclaimed that she, too, was smitten.
To any observer of my classroom, the term "brain crush" might seem like an odd phrase. But for my part in my classroom, I have designated various types of "crushes" that I have.
1 . The brain crush. An obvious admiration for someone's intellect, philosophy, or ability to craft words in a way that rouse the mind and touch the heart. Such examples are: Aristotle, C.S. Lewis, Father Richard Neuhaus, Karol Wojtyla, Pope Benedict XVI, Gilbert Meilander, Charles Krauthammer, and Helen Alvare. My students are well-versed in my "BC's" as we now collectively call them, and I'm proud that we now share some.
2. The spiritual crush. An affinity for another person's spirituality, devotion, or relationship with Our Lord. These crushes manifest themselves in person's writing as well as dispositions in contemplation and action. St. John of the Cross, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Elizabeth Leseur, Mother Teresa, Caryll Houselander all come to mind. However, three priests from my undergraduate institution come to mind, as well as a priest who I work with, the two Magdalene Sisters, and a dear mentor in Opus Dei. My crushes here are numerous, but never fickle.
3. The girl crush. The recognition of the feminine genius manifested in another woman. I have a "girl crush" on all of the women who I work with in the Art of Being a Woman, my godmother's mother, 4 colleagues, my friend from college who is a Dominican sister, my mother, a friend with an ill husband, and even some of my students. Each incarnates gentle strength and beauty in a unique way, and I can only dream of partially reflecting their light. Oh, the Magdalene Sisters go here, too.
4. The real crush. I don't need to define this. And I won't give away who mine are, just yet. :)
Who do you "crush" on?