“Stalker”: The Search for Faith Amidst Desolation

By |2019-02-28T23:55:03-05:00February 28th, 2019|

Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker is about a man who leads others, however obliquely, and despite obstacles, both external and internal, to faith. Faith is faith. Without it, man is deprived of any spiritual roots. He is like a blind man. Just more than thirty years ago, on 26 April 1986, a nuclear disaster occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear [...]

Did John Paul II Change the Course of Irish History?

By |2019-03-17T00:11:03-05:00January 26th, 2019|

Did the speech made by Pope John Paul II at Drogheda during his visit to Ireland in 1979 change the course of Irish history? This is the contention of a new documentary John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace, written and directed by David Naglieri. The originality of the film’s premise lies [...]

A Pope, a President, and Providence

By |2018-03-03T23:42:33-05:00March 3rd, 2018|

God’s way of working in the world is full of seeming coincidences, plot twists, and unexpected jolts. Ronald Reagan’s election at an advanced age could not have been predicted, neither could have the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, which thrust the young pope from Poland onto the world stage. Most dramatic, however, was [...]

John Paul II, T.S. Eliot, and the Culture of Life

By |2018-10-25T15:52:50-05:00January 3rd, 2018|

Both John Paul II and T.S. Eliot give people something to hope for: Blessed John Paul speaks of a new springtime on the horizon signaling the emergence of a culture of life, and Eliot ends “The Waste Land” on a hopeful, if cryptic, note… We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description [...]

Papal Portrayals on the Silver Screen

By |2017-11-26T22:31:14-05:00November 25th, 2017|

The papacy is ripe fruit for any filmmaker. As actors played the role of the pope, so each man who was elected pope stepped into a role that was bigger than himself… With the HBO series The Young Pope (reviewed by Tyler Blanski) the world has been taken once again into the irresistible intrigues [...]

Russell Kirk & Pope St. John Paul II on the Redemption of Man

By |2018-07-24T20:58:40-05:00November 19th, 2017|

Pope St. John Paul II and Russell Kirk defended freedom within the limits of truth and its authentic or right use. They knew it was crucial to distinguish license and liberty. But they have different approaches to truth… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join John Hittinger as [...]

Wind From Heaven: The Poet Who Became Pope

By |2017-11-11T21:53:04-05:00November 11th, 2017|

Wind from Heaven reminds us of the power of literature to renew the imagination, purify the language of the tribe, and inspire the noble pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness… Wind from Heaven-John Paul II—The Poet Who Became Pope by Monika Jablonska (202 pages, Angelico Press, 2017) As we planned the construction of the new [...]

A Conversation on the Benedict Option

By |2017-10-28T18:37:03-05:00October 26th, 2017|

What we have to avoid is the sort of thinking that leads to the belief that we’ve lost: the belief that we’ve got to batten down the hatches and try to salvage the remnant that’s left of Christian civilization. We haven’t lost… A few months ago, I gave a couple of talks at a [...]

Pope Francis and the Caring Society

By |2018-12-09T08:42:03-05:00September 30th, 2017|

I’ve not been fully sure what to “make” of Pope Francis. He is clearly a man of God with a deep love for the poor and an even deeper personal humility. But how is one to respond to his pronouncements on economic and environmental issues?… Pope Francis and the Caring Society, ed. Robert M. [...]

Recovering the Sacred in Music

By |2019-01-04T11:40:41-05:00September 2nd, 2017|

The music of Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener is the music of a new civilization. These composers have gone against the prevailing grain of the twentieth twcentury for the sake of a greater love… The attempted suicide of Western classical music has failed. The patient is recovering, no thanks to the efforts of [...]

Faith and Reason: The Way to Truth?

By |2018-11-21T08:38:46-05:00January 30th, 2017|

John Paul II’s “Fides et Ratio” is an act of daring: not only an exhortation to professional philosophers to return to foundational rationality, but an invitation to all and sundry to realize their natural philosophical capability. I find this call absolutely remarkable, not only as a Magisterial pronouncement for the faithful, but especially as [...]