Today I finished the 40 Hour Basic Mediation Training at the University of Houston Law Center. I took the training because it will help me be more effective in working toward reconciliation in the churches and communities I will serve in my ministry.
As I left the last class, I took this photo of the statue that graces the entrance courtyard of the Law Center. The statue honors Albertus Magnus, or Albert the Great, a medieval theologian and "Man of Universal Knowledge."
Born in Lauingen, Bavaria sometime between 1193 and 1206, he was a bishop, doctor, and saint of the Roman Catholic Church, having as one of his students Saint Thomas Aquinas. He taught in Paris and at the Studium Generale in Cologne, a university run by the Order of the Dominicans in the 13th century and one of the first universities in Europe. A dominant figure, he was an influential teacher, an experienced traveler, a keen observer of life and nature and the one learned man of the Golden Age to be called "the Great." He was later declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Albertus Magnus is the best-known work of German sculptor Gerhard Marcks (1889 - 1981) and considered to be his finest by many scholars and artists. The U of H Law Center’s signature sculpture was made from a special cast in Dusseldorf by permission of Marcks and his family. Two other castings exist: one at Albertus Magnus University of Cologne, Germany, and another at the University of Bogotá.
Law students often rub the toe of “Big Al” for good luck.