Mary Cuff

Mary Cuff is an independent scholar, wife, and homeschooling mother. She holds a PhD in American literature from the Catholic University of America and has published in the Southern Literary Journal, Five Points, Mississippi Quarterly, and Modern Age. She teaches online high school classical rhetoric courses at Homeschool Connections.

recent articles

“The Truest Ghost Story Ever Told”

Nestled in West Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the town of Middleway boasts a ghost story that rivals the most famous haunted tales. What makes this haunting stand out is that it is a Catholic story.

Mothers of Men

One of the key places where modernity went wrong was in its belief that education is a gender-neutral activity. Boys in particular suffer from this error.

That Hideous Strength: A Prophecy for Our Times

For those of us attempting to weather the unsettling global upheavals in the 21st century, “That Hideous Strength” is vital reading to understand the network of connections in the cosmic battle in which we find ourselves. 

Boycott Disney to Save Your Child’s Soul

Boycotting Disney can revolutionize a family’s entire approach to children’s entertainment. It can become an opportunity to introduce our children to a greater wealth of stories.

St. Maravillas

The Beauty of Austerity

Faithfulness to the austere beauty of Teresa’s rule was the cause for canonization for a little-known modern saint, Mother Maravillas de Jesus (1891-1974).

nuns

Why is the Vatican Assailing Contemplative Life?

The future of contemplative orders in the Catholic Church is under siege, not by the oft-bemoaned vocations crisis, but by Archbishop Josè Rodrìguez Carballo, the secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In 2018, Carballo released Cor Orans, a series of regulations on women’s monastic orders. Cor Orans … Read more

Hobbit

The Power of Poetry in The Hobbit

This year, if you want to make your Thanksgiving meal as awkward as can be, stand up from the table in front of your extended family, clear your throat, and recite a nice long poem. Your in-laws will visibly blanch, and the chattering toddlers will grow silent. This will be no mere political argument or … Read more

Bedivere

Alone Among Mine Enemies

The saddest line in all of Western literature is at the end of Thomas Malory’s Le Mort d’Arthur. The divinely blessed Round Table has been destroyed, betrayed and sabotaged by the very knights who had been charged with its protection. King Arthur has been utterly defeated by jealous, power hungry hordes whipped into fury by … Read more

women church

What is the Role of Women in the Church?

I think we were all heartened by the news of new sanctions on “women’s ordination” in the Vatican’s newly revised canon law. We have no way of knowing whether Pope Francis shares our revulsion for those posing as liturgical ladies, but it’s comforting to know that “going to the peripheries” has its limits. Of course, … Read more

Garden

Tending the Garden

This morning, I looked out the dining room window at my rows of tiny carrots in the garden. The parable of the weeds and the crops jumped to mind. Remember how it goes? At night, the landowner’s enemy sowed weeds among the newly planted wheat. When the landowner’s servants discover this, they ask their master … Read more

Newman Guide

When Scandal Hits a Newman Guide College

Last week, Rene Rasmussen wrote an excellent piece alerting us to the unfortunate situation involving Abby Johnson’s planned speech at the Catholic University of America. For those who missed it, the CUA student pro-life group had invited Johnson and then, facing pressure from various students and, unfortunately, the university chaplain, cancelled the event. (Fortunately, the … Read more

Fairfield Carmel

A New Carmel

“Praised be Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His most holy Mother! Come to prayer, Sisters, come to praise the Lord!” It is 4:00 a.m. and fifteen Carmelite sisters arise to this call, dating back to the days of their foundress, Saint Terese of Avila. They make their way to the stone chapel, where they … Read more

‘Believe Science’? You First

No matter the results of this election, one thing is clear: half of America has announced through its vote that it does not implicitly trust the public health experts. As both Donald Trump and Joe Biden made clear time and again, part of this election was a referendum on the pandemic and its management. Mr. … Read more

There Is No Vocation to the ‘Single Life’

The word “vocation” has been diluted.  Before the sixteenth century, “vocation” had an exclusively sacramental sense.  But, as Max Weber points out in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, the Lutheran and Calvinist dissolution of monastic and priestly orders gave rise to its modern sense of “occupation” or “profession.” What is the difference … Read more

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