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In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, a Greek war hero faces imposing challenges in his long journey home. After decimating the armies of Troy, King Odysseus sets out for Ithaca only to find himself wrestling against...
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Aristotle identified man’s eating habits as one of the cornerstones of civilization—one of two activities that highlighted the nature of man’s exquisiteness (and barbarousness). The importance of eating to the human condition should be self-evident to everyone. But what is...
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It is a truism that children need adults to help them grow up. It is, however, less known but equally true that adults need children to help them grow into the fullness of maturity. Whereas children need...
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We find joy when we lose the self in activity, in those good things that are outside ourselves: making art, doing science, playing sports, educating the young, or caring for the old and disabled. Joy is nature's way of telling us that we are fulfilling our nature...
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The planting of trees in the orchard—the passing down of tradition, of the moral wisdom of the past, of the torch of life, and of the beauty of life’s simplest but richest and pleasures—produces the great harvest of joy that culminates in the final chapters of the...
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I sometimes yearn nostalgically for that old fire in her eyes. More twists and turns await my wife and me on this strange voyage to the very ends of sanity and the edges of madness. I know—but hope she does not know—that, as in many adventures, there...
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My father was not an easy man to categorize when it came to politics. He was, like almost everybody else where I grew up, a registered Democrat. Republicans in New England and the middle Atlantic states were not fond...
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We went wrong when we replaced the pursuit of the Good Life with the pursuit of busy-ness, which, as “business,” is idolized as an end in itself; indeed, as the end in itself. We were not made to be busy; we were made to be good...
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What is the worst thing about living in the rubble of a civilization? It is not that you shed a tear for the noble churches and courts and town halls you once knew, as you recall years filled with religious services, parades and block parties. It is...
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Strong memories—of good times, of challenges met, of shaping experiences commonly shared—are the critical foundation of a good and meaningful life, particularly if you are young. Cherished memories of days passed can spur us on, can exhort us, and can motivate us when our own days seem...
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Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae cuts across modernity's default epicurean position by insisting that sexuality is a profound participation in hope, an affirmation that every God-given human life has inestimable worth, not a negotiable value…
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Men, let’s encourage one another to become true fathers again. In an age when fear dominates every relationship, we need real fathers more than ever—men who are beacons of light and who provide companionship, love, and hope in a world filled with loneliness, pain, and despair...
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Is it time for today’s parents to reverse course and begin teaching their children to respect others first, instead of their own little selves?... Let’s face it. Almost every child has likely had some type...
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Compared to today’s decidedly pragmatic US President, the tradition-minded Cambridge medievalist proves to be more exclusive and more provincial, for it is the creator of the beloved Narnia series who would resist tenaciously any attempt to flood his country with Norwegians, however law-abiding and productive. So before preaching the Benedict Option...