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Tradition

An Old Man Reading
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I first came across Russell Kirk’s belief that academics must serve as guardians of “the Word” in his groundbreaking but now sadly-neglected book, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition (1955). “The principle support to academic freedom,...
Tolle Lege
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A good reason for reading church history is that it gives one hope, helping one navigate the stormy waters of yesterday’s news with a calm hand on the tiller. And not only does it put present turmoil into perspective, but it helps one realize that things have...
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Here is a sonnet I composed in honour of the original St. Valentine. I notice some Facebook posts implying that as an early Christian martyr he has nothing to do with Romantic Love and should be dissociated from it. I believe that on the contrary there is...
Picasso The Lovers
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“Should not the unswerving modernists... come to the realization that there is nothing more wearisome or more barren than the most antiquated of all manias: the rage to be modern?” Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) In...
The Journey of the Magi

There is within the human heart the need to set out on pilgrimage as if there is a power unlocked in the journey. There is a sense of seeking and finding—that through one’s visit to the holy places there will be growth in grace, enlightenment, and new...
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The sirens tempted unwary sailors towards the rocks with their enchanting song and alluring loveliness. They often stand for the lusts of the flesh, but their destructive allure perhaps more powerfully stands for the seductive enchantment of primitivism,...
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The recent English controversy over the banning of fox hunting has ramifications that go to the heart of the future of the United States. If there are two Englands, rural and urban, there are two Americas also, the red heartland and the blue coastal fringes. The traditional heart of America...
The Virgin and Child
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Of late I’ve grown rather cool toward Christmas. It’s a curious development. When I was a child, Christmas seemed the height of magic and mystery. Now when people ask me my favorite holidays, I answer...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Joseph Mussomeli, as he considers Christmas as a revolution of the heart against the demands of this world for balancing the scales...
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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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When I moved to Santa Fe, the City Different was a small, sleepy Western town with real stores around the Plaza, not upscale tourist traps that appeared after marketers invented the Santa Fe style. One day, I wandered...
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I'm uncertain of the joy of reading the Theban plays of Sophocles—the story is just too monstrous—but in accord with the awe. This translation conveys it... Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by David R. Slavitt (256 pages, Yale University Press, 2009)
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Social visits are done for their own sake, for disinterested reasons, for the pleasure of others, and as a gracious act of thoughtfulness that dignifies both the visitor and the visited... In the novels of Louisa May...
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The three vows of the Benedictine monk are obedience, stability, and conversion of life. In our own ways, we can follow this example, making it real by paying attention to prayer, cracking the books in solid study, and rolling up our sleeves in the honest, hard work...