01/01/1992

I shudder when I hear God called "Mother" — and so do many other Catholics along with me. But what is the reason for this reaction? Is it irrational, or is it justified? Is it mere traditionalism, or good Catholic instinct? The shuddering is justified, I think. Calling God "Mother" requires that one set aside [...]

I shudder when I hear God called "Mother" — and so do many other Catholics along with me. But what is the reason for this reaction? Is it irrational, or is it justified? Is it mere traditionalism, or good Catholic instinct? The shuddering is justified, I think. Calling God "Mother" requires that one set aside [...]

Two centuries ago, Chelsea was a magnet for Boston's new immigrants. Nestled on the Mystic River, just across from downtown, the growing community offered a rural environment, just a few minutes' sail from the harbor. All that, alas, was two centuries ago. As the twentieth century began, a massive fire ripped through Chelsea, virtually destroying [...]

... And Not a Thought to Think A recent issue of Boston College Magazine contained an article entitled, "Writing Catholic," in which several Catholic writers were asked to describe how their faith affects their work. One of the respondents, Mary Helen Washington, noted toward the end of her contribution that, some years ago, an essay [...]

Last month in Crisis, novelist and Civil War historian Shelby Foote reflected upon the study of history, Walker Percy, and the life of writing. Here we conclude our conversation with ruminations about the Civil War's hold on the American imagination and Ken Burns' panoramic treatment of the conflict. Foote also discusses the present state and [...]

(with apologies to P.G. Wodehouse) "I say, Jeeves, these Wodehouse books are ripping. He's got the stuff, what?" "Indubitably, sir." "These dashed critics, complaining he writes the same thing over and over. Well, what I want to know is, what sort of a beef is that?" "Man is an ungrateful animal, sir." "I mean, with [...]

On the stacks of books by my computer monitor, I noticed a paperback novel with a black cover. I did not pay too much attention to it, except that I wondered where it came from, as I did not remember buying it nor did I recall anyone giving it to me. Perhaps I picked it [...]

My eldest daughter, at 28, has resolved not to love again. That is, she quits the arena of l'amour, tou jours l'amour after two experiences which left her scarred and cynical. Romantically, she is 0 for 2. With predictable parental response, I rushed to assure her she was bound to fall in love again but [...]

The name "neoconservative" is often bandied about, usually in a way that shows its user to be ignorant (or at least very vague) whereof he speaks. All sorts of people are called "neoconservative" who are merely "conservative" or "new right" or something else quite different. Jerry Falwell is new right; Irving Kristol is neoconservative; Irving [...]

There is no more obvious sign of modernity's decay than what now passes for social dancing. Not so long ago, it would have been called stomping, wiggling, and shuffling — anything but dancing. It has no established form, no predictability. The partners in this free-form dance have no contact with one another. They gyrate to [...]

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