Art & Culture

Dante

The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest poem ever written. It is also profoundly Catholic to its theological and philosophical core. Its author, Dante Alighieri, spent over ten years writing it, completing it a year before his death in 1321. It is fitting, therefore, that we should celebrate this finest of poetic masterpieces on the [...]

The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest poem ever written. It is also profoundly Catholic to its theological and philosophical core. Its author, Dante Alighieri, spent over ten years writing it, completing it a year before his death in 1321. It is fitting, therefore, that we should celebrate this finest of poetic masterpieces on the [...]

One of the most important distinctions we can make during these troubled times is between philosophy and ideology. Philosophy is the search for truth employing the universal human faculty of reason. Therefore, philosophy is for everyone. An ideology, on the other hand, is limited to a set of ideas that does not have a universal [...]

Catholicism is the future of culture in America and the Western World. Why? Because Catholicism understands that humans are cultural animals and that we have a rich and splendid cultural inheritance rather than proclaiming a deracinated and orphaned inheritance or advancing an ideology of self-hatred and cultural destruction in the name of progress.  Humans are [...]

Beowulf, the Old English epic, probably dates from the early eighth century, a golden age of English Christianity when the land was awash with saints. The Beowulf poet, who was almost certainly a monk, was a contemporary of St. Bede the Venerable, a Doctor of the Church, and St. Boniface, the English apostle to the [...]

H.W. “Harry” Crocker III has taken it upon himself to resurrect the reputation of George Armstrong Custer, perhaps the most politically incorrect man who ever lived. Custer was the Army officer who, surrounded by whooping Injuns, lost his scalp at Little Bighorn. Except, to Crocker’s telling, Custer lost nothing that day on Little Bighorn, not [...]

It will soon be thirty years since the implosion of the Soviet Union. That liberating event took place on the last day of August in 1991, exactly twenty-one months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Will there be celebrations to mark the anniversary? Not if Europe and the West have grown so forgetful of [...]

“If I have to choose between my feelings or experiences and the Bible,” I heard someone say recently, “it’s impossible for me to choose the Bible.” Well, people lie about their feelings all the time, to others and even to themselves. Very often, “He offended me” means “I was looking for a way to hurt [...]

With the definition of marriage changing (evolving?) from a permanent union between a man and woman open to having children to two people who love one another very much, it was only a matter of time before writers for The New York Times would want to equate friendships with marriage. If children and sex are [...]

“The Incarnation is the hinge of salvation” and “Iconoclasm as a denial of the Incarnation is the summation of all heresies.” The first quotation is from the second-century apologist Tertullian and the latter was penned by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. These two statements can well be applied to our present cultural crisis; namely, the rise [...]

There is an unforgettable moment near the end of A Man for All Seasons (a perfectly fabulous film, which won a busload of awards—including Best Picture of the Year in 1966, starring Paul Scofield as the saintly Thomas More). It is the courtroom scene where More, following his betrayal by Master Richard Rich, whose perjured [...]

Along with The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Aeneid is one of the three epic pillars on which the edifice of western literature rests. These three works are, therefore, foundational. Written by Virgil a few decades before the birth of Christ, and at least seven centuries after the time of Homer, The Aeneid owes its [...]

Children as young as six are being taught “sex is assigned at birth.” They are being taught that boys and girls can be born into the wrong body, that boys can turn into girls and girls into boys. Children are being forced to use the “proper pronouns.” This is happening in the public school, where [...]

According to the instruction Inter Oecumenici (1964), certain rites performed during the Mass were to be revised, that the services might “manifest a noble simplicity more attuned to the spirit of the times.” The noble simplicity apparently demanded that the so-called Last Gospel, the soaring prologue to the Gospel of John, was no longer to [...]

In recent years we have witnessed the rise of two national political leaders—Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi—who claim to be devout Catholics while actively promoting radical pro-abortion and pro-LGBT agendas. This has brought into sharp relief the growing disparity between two thousand years of unvarying Church teaching on these issues against the opinions of large [...]

As anyone who has fought in the culture wars (that is, fighting over moral values, life, and rights) can attest, debating with the progressive Left has become nearly impossible. Regardless of how well conservatives support their argument or how clear they are in their logic, they will inevitably be labeled an ignorant bigot. Their argument [...]

Few boys enjoy the benefit of being raised by the kind of man’s man who was my father. He was a veteran who served as a U.S. Army medic; a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do; and an exemplary athlete with trophies from baseball, softball, tennis, and billiards. He was tough as nails: he [...]

During the shutdown last spring, one of the unexpected blessings of quarantine was reconnecting with college friends on Zoom. We all had nowhere to be, so a group of us would meet about once a week to catch up. All of us were English or Classics graduates, so literature naturally came up as a topic [...]

As we saw in the previous essay in this series, Oedipus Rex presents the riddle of man without offering any solution. It seems to beg innumerable questions on the nature of man and on the mystery of suffering without giving any answers. It would, however, be a gross and grotesque error to conclude from the [...]

We do not live in a secular society. Most of us think we do. It is a truism of our time. Folks are flooding out of the Church and embracing the sunny uplands of rationalism, scientism, and freedom from the shackles of dusty, old, and even dangerous dogmas. They are becoming nones, glorious nones, at [...]

ESPN recently published an article about the Derek Chauvin verdict which graded the manner in which professional sports leagues kept their promises following the death of George Floyd. Specifically, how have they fought against racism and systemic violence of police toward African Americans? Several leagues and many players called out race as the determining factor [...]

As the late, great Fr. James Schall reminded us, “St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the greatest service that we can offer our neighbor is to know the truth, to speak the truth.” Austin Ruse offers this greatest service in his new book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to Be a Faithful Catholic. Full disclosure: Austin [...]

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