Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

By |2019-01-05T12:11:21-05:00January 5th, 2019|

In a world ringing with noise and suffused with the more or less artful idolizing of passions divorced from objective goods, where are we to find melodies capable of penetrating our hardened hearts with spiritual truths? In Plato’s Republic, Socrates leads a group of ambitious young Athenians on a search for the best way of [...]

Winning the Long Defeat

By |2018-11-28T21:55:23-05:00November 28th, 2018|

Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect “history” to be anything but a “long defeat”—though it contains… some samples or glimpses of final victory. – J.R.R. Tolkien Together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat. – Galadriel My kingdom is not of this [...]

Opting Out of the Benedict Option?

By |2018-03-27T10:00:15-05:00March 26th, 2018|

I wonder whether the Benedict Option will be allowed by God. The problem for a lay monastic movement is that we laity are called to be salt and light in a fundamentally different way from monks and nuns. Salt does not do any good for the food when it is clumped together in a [...]

Is Plato Necessary for Salvation?

By |2019-03-07T10:26:18-05:00February 24th, 2018|

It would seem that in no way can reading Plato be necessary for salvation, since Jesus Christ alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Yet Plato teaches us the essential spiritual and metaphysical truths, as well as the mystical habit of mind and soul, without which Faith and Grace are stillborn in our [...]

Saint Russell of Mecosta?

By |2018-02-04T23:41:06-05:00February 5th, 2018|

As shocking as it might seem to those who knew Russell Kirk as a bad (in terms of practice) Catholic, he deserves sainthood. Here is my case for Saint Russell of Mecosta… When I first started reading the works of Russell Amos Augustine Kirk in the fall of 1989, that most joyously fateful of [...]

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 [...]

Perennial Light

By |2018-12-21T14:56:29-05:00November 4th, 2017|

Our civilization needs zealous and dedicated young men and women to convert the barbarians. However, because the barbaric culture is pervasive, we are all barbarians now to a certain extent, and thus, we must first civilize our own souls… Nowadays the devil has made such a mess of everything in the system of life [...]

What the Devil to Do About Halloween?

By |2018-10-30T22:59:24-05:00October 30th, 2017|

What are the historical roots of Halloween? Should Christians celebrate this holiday? And if so, how?… Not that the Mass of the day has mention of black cats, or the Divine Office of witches, but for so long Halloween meant nothing but parties and vandalism that when someone first proposed that it came out [...]

Augustine: A Saint for Eternity

By |2018-11-05T00:49:38-05:00August 27th, 2017|

Augustine passed on to us, and all posterity, prescient words of wisdom: that even in the most disconcerting and dark of times, beauty, compassion, truth, love, and happiness abound… When the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, the city that had taken the world captive had fallen into captivity. The event was a transformative moment [...]

Don Quixote: Saintly Knight

By |2019-01-03T15:48:02-05:00August 4th, 2017|

By viewing Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a type of saintly hagiography, and Quixote’s actions and motives as following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Don Quixote turns into San Quixote, a knight who fights not on the plains of Spain but on a spiritual plane, by means of his illuminating imagination… Gallivanting through the [...]

How Should a Christian Relate to Death?

By |2017-04-14T10:28:20-05:00April 13th, 2017|

We choose our relationship with Death, much the way we choose our relationship with Life; is it going to be about taking or giving, fear or love?… Recently, late at night, I passed out twice. The first time, I wondered why my eye was suddenly in sharp contact with the edge of the bathroom [...]

Finding Saint Patrick in Ourselves

By |2019-03-11T14:08:51-05:00March 16th, 2017|

The labors of Saint Patrick are among the greatest of those who have traveled far and wide for the discipleship of Christ… In the nave of my parish church, amongst the walls of glittering glass that are as windows unto the Word of God itself, there is an image of Saint Patrick. When the [...]

A Satirist at Work: Evelyn Waugh’s “Helena”

By |2017-02-09T11:52:58-05:00January 14th, 2017|

Evelyn Waugh’s Helena is a saint for modern times—not an otherworldly ascetic or a heroic martyr, but a woman who “discovered what it was God had chosen for her to do and did it”… This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), Catholic convert and novelist. I had never [...]

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Courage to be a Christian

By |2018-10-17T16:43:12-05:00October 15th, 2016|

In these dark days in which the power of secular fundamentalism appears to be on the rise and in which religious freedom seems to be imperiled, it is easy for Christians to become despondent. The clouds of radical relativism seem to obscure the light of objective truth and it can be difficult to discern [...]