Christianity

Ascending the Mountain of Love

By |2019-12-12T01:49:38-06:00December 11th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

“Here let death’s poetry arise to life, / O Muses sacrosanct whose liege I am! / And let Calliope rise up and play / her sweet accompaniment in the same strain / that pierced the wretched magpies with the truth / of unforgivable presumptuousness.” Thus was Dante’s opening prayer as he entered Purgatory and [...]

The Transcendent Beauty of Icons

By |2019-12-09T14:46:29-06:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Orthodoxy, Western Civilization|

While much Western art immerses us in the richness of this world with its spacial and emotional realism, the Eastern Orthodox tradition uses only painted images, with icons of Christ, Mary, and the saints functioning as “windows into heaven,” by way of stylized forms that convey a Platonic ideal of beauty and truth. Virgin [...]

“Hymn” to the Mother of God

By |2019-12-07T20:53:29-06:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry|

Edgar Allan Poe's "Hymn" appeared in The Raven and Other Poems (1845). Poe revised it slightly from a version he used in his short story, "Morella." He originally titled the work, "Catholic Hymn," but crossed out "Catholic" in a copy of the collection he sent to a friend. It is said that Poe wrote the [...]

Death at Yuletude: T.S. Eliot and “The Journey of the Magi”

By |2019-12-07T10:12:18-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Advent, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is as sincere a conversion poem as one can have it: No fancy light shining down from the heavens or a thunderous call to holiness; just one small event that left a Magus perplexed by a new worldview that was unsettling and strange, for it put into [...]

The Romantic Theology of Charles Williams

By |2019-12-04T21:15:06-06:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Culture, Inklings, Love, Marriage, Religion, Senior Contributors, Theology|

Just as we consume the Eucharist at Mass, recognizing the holiness of the act, so some marriages become profound examples and witnesses of holiness. By habit and faith, Charles Williams contended, the serious Christian begins to see all meals as a shadow of the Eucharist and all love as a shadow of Holy Matrimony. [...]

Living in the Same Spiritual World: C.S. Lewis & Charles Williams

By |2019-12-01T22:01:42-06:00December 1st, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Christianity, Imagination, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Charles Williams joined the Inklings immediately after Oxford University Press moved its offices from London to Oxford because of the war with Germany. Though C.S. Lewis found Williams’ work compelling, even life-changing, the other members expressed doubts. “I had a pleasant evening on Thursday with Williams, Tolkien, and Wrenn, during which Wrenn expressed ALMOST [...]

The Comforts of Religion: Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary”

By |2019-11-30T03:15:16-06:00November 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Europe, Faith, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Religion|

The nineteenth century was a difficult and dynamic period for the French nation, as citizens of all classes and philosophical persuasions struggled to come to terms with modernity. These struggles are reflected in Gustave Flaubert’s first novel, Madame Bovary, published as a complete text in 1857. The story is well-known: Emma Bovary finds herself [...]

The Grace of Owing

By |2019-11-28T00:46:38-06:00November 27th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Glenn Arbery, Liberal Arts, Senior Contributors, Thanksgiving, Wyoming Catholic College|

To be truly grateful means that one holds oneself in the grace of owing. It means alert and noble attention to the good intended by the giver. Giving thanks is such a beautifully natural gesture that it seems almost perverse to admire someone for not making it. But Dr. Samuel Johnson earns such admiration [...]

Memory and Its Discontents

By |2019-11-26T21:54:21-06:00November 24th, 2019|Categories: Classical Education, Education, Glenn Arbery, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

The whole thrust of the modern world is toward a slighting of memory. These days, most of us worry more about how much memory our computers have than about developing this profound faculty in ourselves. At Wyoming Catholic College, our students continue a practice of great antiquity—they memorize poetry. Although people have never stopped [...]

A Brief Guide to the New Testament

By |2019-11-16T21:16:21-06:00November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity|

Canonicity of the New Testament. The English word “Gospel” was first coined in 950AD in Lindesfarne, by an Anglo-Saxon monk/priest. It means “God’s spell” or “God’s story.” It is a translation of the Greek word euangelion. Dates of the various books of the New Testament: Date                                         Writing                                    Author 51-52            [...]

A Guide Through “Hevel”: The Teacher of Ecclesiastes

By |2019-11-26T21:33:14-06:00November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Religion, Wisdom|

Ecclesiastes is quite possibly the most controversial book in the Bible for all the wrong reasons. Many Christians avoid Ecclesiastes because of its overwhelming bleakness. Others prefer Job to Ecclesiastes’ nihilistic overtones and recurring cynicism. In fact, as some pastors observe, Ecclesiastes “is so denigrated by some Christians, that they have wondered why it [...]

All That Is Beautiful & Terrible: The Feast of Saint Cecilia

By |2019-11-22T21:25:07-06:00November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Conservatism, Sainthood, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

No matter how corrupt and bleak and depressing the world may appear, we can always turn to the many Cecilias of the world and see the goodness that is possible through grace and love. Properly remembered, these true symbols and true myths can re-orient our souls, our cultures, and perhaps even the world itself toward [...]

The Silent Witness of “Metropolis”

By |2019-11-22T02:36:59-06:00November 21st, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Dystopia, Film, Modernity, Religion|

A remnant from the late ‘20s, “Metropolis” has come into the light once again and in a more complete way. While the industrial environment and modern work have changed, the concern for social justice and questions about technology are just as intense as they were when the film premiered. In a search for movies [...]