10/01/1998

"Think of it as dancing with Captain Trips." I had just asked a younger colleague how to think about technology. I ask a lot of people a lot of questions. It's low tech, but it works. It's a good way to learn. "Captain Trips?" "Yeah, like in the Stephen King novel." Captain Trips, it turns [...]

"Think of it as dancing with Captain Trips." I had just asked a younger colleague how to think about technology. I ask a lot of people a lot of questions. It's low tech, but it works. It's a good way to learn. "Captain Trips?" "Yeah, like in the Stephen King novel." Captain Trips, it turns [...]

Prepared to Lead

On the evening of October 16, 1978, when Pericle Cardinal Fellici announced that the Church had a Polish pope, an astonished world expected that it might take some time for the newly-elected successor of St. Peter to learn his job. For Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow had had none of the preparation usually considered necessary [...]

Sudan has captured our nation's attention recently; U.S. attacks on suspected terrorist training areas even stole the spotlight from the Lewinsky affair for a brief time. But that brief national glance at Sudan did little to uncover the real story in this nation of 33 million: the story of a government that is slowly exterminating, [...]

During World Youth Day in Paris last summer, Pope John Paul II traveled to a nearby small town to pray at the grave of an old friend and fellow humanitarian, Professor Jerome Lejeune. Extraordinarily, the news of his intended visit drew an unprecedented public rebuke of the Holy Father from France's ruling Socialist Party, who [...]

Thirty years after the close of the Second Vatican Council, liturgical reform remains one of the most contested topics of Catholic debate. The subject, most often discussed from either the dogmatic or historical perspective, leaves little time for the powerful role played by visual imagery in worship. Although it is universally conceded that the visual [...]

Crisis has applauded the pope's efforts to promote unity in the Church, his attempt to overcome divisions in the Body of Christ. To Orthodox, Jews, Protestants, to Catholics on the right and left, he has reached out, and his efforts, while not always successful, have born great fruit. How ironic, it seems, that those who [...]

It has often been remarked that great men are seldom elected president. True enough, but the genius of American politics lies not in the grandeur of those who hold its highest office, but in the grandeur of the constitutional order that presidents swear to uphold. Our system neither anticipates nor requires that statesmen will always [...]

It cannot be an accident; there must be a reason that we are drawn back, repeatedly, to that scheme unfolded by G.K. Chesterton: He imagined a story about a group of intrepid explorers, setting off from England in search of a new land. After a long while at sea, they spot land, and as they [...]

Poor Mendelssohn was rich. Had he only suffered more, he might have been a profound composer. As it was, cosseted by the luxuries of the haute-bourgeois world of the wealthy Mendelssohn banking family, he was relegated to the politeness and pieties of the Victorian world. He was even afflicted with the name Felix, which means [...]

How do we know that we live in postmodern times? Were he alive and sane, Friedrich Nietzsche, the prophet of modernity, would no doubt tell us to be on the lookout for signs and portents of what he called "the transvaluation of all values," the great ethical inversion that he expected to occur when modern [...]

Few literary conventions are more useful than quotation of Aristotle when in a pinch. He gives a sheen to what might otherwise pass for inanity, especially when you do not know with perfect assurance what you are talking about. So we invoke his resolution: "It is the mark of an educated man to rest satisfied [...]

The first time I went to a Broadway musical, the musicians in the pit shocked me. They had heard and seen the show thousands of times. Wonderful as it was, it no longer held any interest for them except during the moments they had to play. They could pick right up and deliver a sound [...]

In the town of St. Andrews in Scotland there is more than the Royal and Ancient Golf Course. Nestled along the street called the Scores, skirting the sea, is a lovely little Catholic church in the Scottish style, fringed with flowers, where the stalwart pastor, Fr. Brian Halloran, presides with dignity and devotion. The solid [...]

Nine hundred years ago, in 1098, "four leagues distant" (as the old Catholic Encyclopedia measures it), from the French city of Dijon, St. Robert of Molesme founded the Abbey of Citeaux, the chief abbey of the Cistercian Order. I have, alas, never been there. One should not construct his life on what he has not [...]

C.S. Lewis died on the very day that John Kennedy was assassinated, November 22, 1963, so his passing went largely unmarked in the press. But thirty-five years later Lewis devotees met in New York to commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday. If anything, the reputation of Lewis is on the rise, but this [...]

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