2007

Through much of my life I did not take stress seriously. I looked upon it as something light and artificial, a maladie imaginaire afflicting intellectuals and other idle people. Nor did it occur to me to think of stress, or anxiety, in religious terms— any more than I might turn to the Church for an [...]

Through much of my life I did not take stress seriously. I looked upon it as something light and artificial, a maladie imaginaire afflicting intellectuals and other idle people. Nor did it occur to me to think of stress, or anxiety, in religious terms— any more than I might turn to the Church for an [...]

The release of Spider-Man 3 set several box-office records, including the highest domestic opening ($151.1 million) and the highest worldwide opening ($382 million). The film will soon join Spider-Man (number seven) and Spider-Man 2 (number ten) in the top-ten list for all-time highest grossing films—maybe even topping it. Although Columbia Pictures maintains that Spider-Man 3 [...]

One of the premises of my book, Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, was that the music of the 20th century could not be written for another hundred years because so much of it had been neglected or buried for various ideological and political reasons that it would take [...]

As baseball fans religiously record statistics, Bowie Kuhn (1926-2007) was, at 42, the youngest commissioner of baseball ever; the tallest, at six-foot-five; and the heaviest, at 250 pounds, though his height made him seem slim. As I measured up to none of that, I was not an impressive guide when I led him and his [...]

Michael Chertoff wrote in the Washington Post that real war continues, whether we like it or not. A relentless enemy, financed by our own energy needs, prods us daily. The enemy is not in it for money or power, but for God, as he understands (or misunderstands) Him. Like all wars, this war is theological, [...]

The other day, I pulled from my shelf a copy of Helen Waddell's little book The Desert Fathers. In her introduction, she tells how various unsympathetic commentators have taxed these fathers with having fled the world to seek their own salvation, when what they ought to have done was to lend a hand to make [...]

Every couple of days it seems somebody falls apart due to "insensitivity." The problem has been buzzing around in our headlines for years. We all remember back in January 1999 when a group of Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals came unglued after David Howard, a white aide to Anthony Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., [...]

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) knew he had lost his re-election fight at 5 P.M. on Election Day. After receiving the news, he joined his wife, Karen, and their six children at their hotel suite. The Santo- rums always planned to "finish well." Now, that meant taking their children with them when they voted at the [...]

As associate dean at a state law school, I receive promotional materials from numerous other law schools. Usually they go straight into the trashcan, but I was on my way to the airport for a long flight, and the cover of the spring/summer 2006 issue of BC Law Magazine, published by Jesuit-affiliated Boston College, caught [...]

In the late 1970s, a group of Episcopal clergymen with typical American chutzpah wrote to Pope Paul VI. They said they wanted to become Catholics, and wished for their priestly ministry to be fulfilled by being ordained as Catholic priests. The only problem was that they had wives and children. Paul VI received their petition, [...]

I recently returned from a trip to Europe where, among other stops, I spent some time in Brussels. I was struck by the city's amazing beauty and wealth. Among the truly awe-inspiring buildings are the multitudes of churches that crowd the city's streets, including the majestic Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Like many [...]

The three boys have joined forces to run away from home and pillage their enemy towns on the banks of the great river. After they filch some of the necessities for a life of piracy—a side of bacon, some tobacco, hooks and lines, and a raft—and spend an afternoon enjoying the glory of spreading the [...]

It's always a bit touchy discussing a recent religious conversion. But there are times when a conversion is so public that talk is bound to come. Such was the case last month when Francis Beckwith, the president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), announced his return to the Catholic Church. Beckwith had been raised Catholic [...]

I have found Dinesh D'Souza's voice a helpful contribution to that War on Whatever we are arguably fighting—both in his recent book The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 and in his discussions of it in this magazine and elsewhere. He is right to tell people that when Muslim fanatics [...]

Film: The Hoax

In 1971, a minor novelist named Clifford Irving convinced his publisher, McGraw-Hill, that he'd been contacted by Howard Hughes to write the reclusive billionaire's authorized biography. Irving claimed that Hughes had chosen him for the project because Hughes liked Irving's 1969 biography, Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our [...]

Music High and Low by Robert R. Reilly In response to my February/March 2007 Crisis rant against the general decline in culture (particularly in music and dance), I received a letter from a lady in the Midwest that so touched me I have to quote it at length. First, she recalls the shared role of [...]

Bishops often speak about the virtue of "collegiality"—their desire to act and speak in one voice. The recent history of the Church illustrates problems arising from the expectation that individual bishops should subjugate their public message in favor of the USCCB. John Cardinal O'Connor and Bernard Cardinal Law were among the first bishops to challenge [...]

After nearly 40 years as a lawyer, Richard Conway Casey (1933-2006) was sworn in as a judge of the U.S. district court in Manhattan in 1977. Following Holy Cross and Georgetown, he had been a soldier and a legal investigator for the New York County district attorney's office and an assistant U.S. attorney, specializing in [...]

Unlike many contemporaries who do not even recognize the concept, Socrates made sin simply a question of ignorance. To get rid of any disorder in our souls, all we need to do is to teach the truth. Ever more education is the ticket. We need method and diligence. If only we knew better, we would [...]

Most of us will have seen, if only in reproductions, Matthias Grunewald's terrible (I say that circumspectly) painting of the crucifixion that is commonly known now as the Isenbeim Altarpiece. It is as much as one can do to look at it at all. Benedict XVI calls it "perhaps the most moving painting of the [...]

"By responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman." --Nick Bostron "The moral challenge of transhumanism will transcend those of abortion and euthanasia.  For this reason, the pro-life movement must become the pro-human movement." --Nigel M. Cameron Cryonics. Neural implants. Designer babies. Welcome to the future of transhumanism. [...]

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