“The Speech”: Maintaining Sanity in an Insane World

By |2021-01-08T09:36:34-06:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Forrest McDonald, Hope, Imagination, Timeless Essays, Wisdom|

I propose to address the question, how does one survive—and I mean survive as something—in a world that may not? How does one remain sane in a world that is insane; how does one live without fear in a world in which the only certainty is that nothing is certain? As the new year arrives, [...]

What I Learned From Solving a 750-Piece Puzzle

By |2020-12-04T15:43:53-06:00December 4th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Wisdom|

During Christmas break, I discovered, to my great surprise, that putting together a 750-piece puzzle can be addicting. Throughout the process, I found that solving puzzles can teach us a lot about ourselves and about life and made five meaningful connections. This past Christmas, a parishioner of ours gave my kids a puzzle, a [...]

Christian Platonism in Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”

By |2020-10-24T15:24:21-05:00October 24th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, Philosophy, Plato, Wisdom|

As a robust Christian Platonist, Boethius saw a profound resonance between the truths of Platonic philosophy and Christian faith. The articulation of Platonic thought furnished an occasion for Boethius to tacitly meditate upon and be nourished by his own Christian faith, without having to draw explicit parallels in “The Consolation of Philosophy.” The Consolation [...]

A Conservative Response to Cancel Culture

By |2020-08-21T14:01:18-05:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Ideology, Modernity, Politics, Wisdom|

Today, conservatism finds itself in danger of losing its way. In an attempt to win what feels like an all-out war, young conservatives take on the common tactics of the day. When conservatives surrender their civility to the abrasiveness, they sacrifice a part of the tradition that makes them conservative. Young conservatives are faced [...]

What Might a Federalist Paper “No. 86” Have Looked Like?

By |2020-05-29T16:38:12-05:00May 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Federalist Papers, Imagination, Modernity, Virtue, Wisdom|

To the People of the State of New York: Having previously exposed the unfailing dangers of Faction, the more pernicious and enticing danger of Efficiency may be revealed. Indeed, Efficiency, properly ordered as a servant, aids humanity in frugality. An efficient farmer may feed more people; an efficient merchant may employ more people; an [...]

When the Panic Becomes Policy, Wisdom Must Step In

By |2020-03-29T17:45:42-05:00March 29th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Economics, Imagination, John Horvat, Josef Pieper, Moral Imagination, Philosophy, Politics, Wisdom|

When set in motion, panic does not care what is in the way of its mad flight. All must be sacrificed—economy, society, and even worship—in the name of irrational fear. Moreover, it proves difficult to stop. What is missing in our reaction to the coronavirus pandemic is wisdom. In the face of the coronavirus [...]

Forces of Nature: Reflections on COVID-19, My Mother, and Life

By |2020-03-23T14:42:19-05:00March 23rd, 2020|Categories: Community, Coronavirus, Culture, Nature, Wisdom|

If you’re feeling threatened by disease, I want you to know that many people the world over have felt that way for many centuries and they nonetheless held fast, carried on as best they were able, and rejoiced whenever they could. So, here’s what I think of the current COVID-19 situation: Be mentally, emotionally, [...]

Ten Rules for Good Living

By |2019-12-31T22:02:49-06:00December 31st, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Thomas Jefferson, Wisdom|

Thomas Jefferson wrote several lists of advice about the virtuous life to his children, grandchildren, and the children of friends. The final list, which he called “A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life,” was sent during his retirement years from his beloved home of Monticello to Thomas Jefferson Smith, the son of [...]

Prophecies, Predictions, and Prognostications

By |2019-12-29T22:54:23-06:00December 30th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

We are all fascinated by the future and imprisoned by the past—especially when “there is distress of nations and perplexity”—but we needn’t resort to occult tomfoolery or fall under the spell of a seer, preacher, or latter-day doomsday prophet. Instead the answer is to dwell in the present moment. The preachers of my Evangelical [...]

Petrarch on Seeking the Ideal

By |2019-12-16T11:10:36-06:00December 16th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Love, Petrarch, Poetry, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Keep climbing, my friends of the future; though the ideal elude you, do not give up on the journey. Others before you have stuck to the path and found their way out of the Cave and into the glorious light of the Beatific Vision. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other [...]

Chaucer on Self-Delusion

By |2019-12-11T00:34:05-06:00December 9th, 2019|Categories: Geoffrey Chaucer, Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

There is perhaps no spell stronger or more lasting than self-delusion. Who among us cannot see the hypocrisy in others; how few of us can see the hypocrisy in ourselves. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given [...]

Chaucer on Influence

By |2019-12-02T23:45:02-06:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Geoffrey Chaucer, Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

Though fate is strong, there is a First Mover who transcends the revolutions of Fortune’s Wheel. In our world of perpetual change, all is in flux; even the mightiest tree will someday fall and the broadest river turn to dust. Yet the First Cause rises above these temporal twists and turns. Author’s Introduction: Imagine [...]

Chaucer on Variety

By |2019-11-25T23:09:51-06:00November 25th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

True pilgrimage is a communal undertaking: a temporary society on the move. Rather than turn inward in search of enlightenment, turn outward toward your companions and learn to see the world through their eyes. Learn to get along with people whose passions, beliefs, and strategies for survival are radically different from your own. Author’s Introduction: [...]

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