Art & Culture

There is an old Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, we are cursed indeed. Though many have suffered grievously from this virus, you, graduating seniors, whether from high school or college, make up your own category of sufferers. Who could have imagined it would end this way? Some of you [...]

There is an old Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, we are cursed indeed. Though many have suffered grievously from this virus, you, graduating seniors, whether from high school or college, make up your own category of sufferers. Who could have imagined it would end this way? Some of you [...]

Angles at Play

The English have a genius for play. Which other nation of Christendom has at the center of its villages not just a church but a field for sport? Along with the church and pub, the quintessential center of the English village is the cricket green. In England: An Elegy, Sir Roger Scruton described cricket as [...]

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. Ray Repp passed away several days ago. Every Catholic of my age will remember that suddenly we had songs to sing at Mass that were composed by people of our own time, who seemingly had come out of nowhere. These songs were called, generally, “folk” songs. There were two reasons for [...]

Covid-19 will most likely prove one of those demarcating events in history that will be prefixed with “pre” and “post.” Until then, these are without doubt days of blind trust. No one is quite sure what is going on, but doubt is not a popular public disposition. With sorrow for those who have suffered due [...]

Since mid-March, journalists across the country have been announcing that we have suddenly become a nation of homeschoolers. “The coronavirus has turned caregivers around the world into homeschoolers,” declares CNN. Media outlets from USA Today to the Washington Post have been posting homeschooling tips for disoriented parents and even more disoriented kids: read aloud with [...]

Memory is a tricky thing, and historical memory can be trickier. For example, to many Catholic Americans, the 1950s look like a golden age of innocence, when life—especially church life—looked like a series of Norman Rockwell and Harold Anderson illustrations. As with all such reminiscences, it is not entirely inaccurate. Certainly America’s Catholics benefited alongside [...]

We are now in what is called the “Great Fifty Days” of the Easter Season. As we know, every Sunday is really the celebration of Easter, what the Church calls the “Paschal Sacrifice,” the saving death and resurrection of Christ. During these great fifty days, we are meant to recall and be refocused on the [...]

There is something truly rotten in the state of Shakespeare criticism. Take, for instance, All is True, a recent film produced by Sony Pictures Classics, which shows Shakespeare as a homosexual. Such nonsense has its rotting roots in pride and prejudice, both of which need to be exposed so that we can clear Shakespeare’s name [...]

Both Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas speak of the debts of gratitude we owe to others—to God, to our parents, to our city or nation—anyone from whom we receive benefits. We pay our debts by giving to each benefactor what is due to him, according to our abilities. Often, the best we can do is [...]

A recent study of the most popular search terms on Amazon during the Covid-19 pandemic showed that both “bread” and “flour” ranked high. “Bread” is to be expected: people look to purchase basic necessities without leaving the house. But “flour” is perhaps a little surprising. Are people searching for flour out of desperation because the [...]

In loco parentis means “in the place of the parents.” It is an old legal concept that once had a venerable place in Western law. The doctrine of in loco parentis was invoked when people or institutions had to act in the place of parents. Schools, for example, were deemed to share in a parent’s [...]

“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.” This passage from Ecclesiastes—about there being a time to be born and a time to die, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather them together, and vanity, and dust—well, it’s pretty grim stuff if you take it [...]

There is a great deal of division among Catholics across the globe today regarding the way in which the hierarchy have dealt with the pandemic. Some feel that by closing churches and forbidding the Sacraments to the faithful, those bishops who have done so have betrayed the flock. Others believe that they are showing prudence [...]

Like many saints, George the dragon-slaying patron of England has murky origins, but he may go back to the Christian martyr soldier who refused to make a pagan sacrifice for the Emperor Diocletian’s bribe of wealth, and lost his head for it on April 23, 303. A millennium or so later, English Crusaders brought back [...]

The fact that Shakespeare was a believing Catholic in very anti-Catholic times can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. The evidence is convincing in terms of what is known about his life and from what can be seen in his plays and poems. Since this is so, it’s intriguing to consider Shakespeare’s response to the [...]

Eastertime rejoices in life, when even things as old as the world are made new again. It is at this time of resurrection that Catholics may also remember those who have passed away in the hope of rising again, and especially those whose memory might be seasoned with the brightness they brought to life by [...]

As we all struggle with our confinement during this holiest of seasons, I busy myself with two endless activities: making repairs to a home battered by having barracked my eight sons over the years and revisiting favorite authors, especially poets. For the first time in a long while, I have picked up a book of [...]

Death, decries the novelist Alan Harrington, is “an imposition on the human race” from which we will be saved by “medical engineering and nothing else.” Though the dark hearse of death drives fear of that moment when “everything will go black . . . our messiahs will be wearing white coats.” In Pale Horse, Pale [...]

One of the distinguishing factors of a faithful Catholic college is its vibrant community life. Students spend four years immersed in a truly Catholic culture, where faith and virtue are promoted and students, faculty and staff make friendships to last a lifetime. Now faithful Catholic colleges have closed their campuses to curb the spread of [...]

In February, I read a novel for a men’s book club (back then, we still had the good fortune to be able to meet for normal social interactions; March’s meeting got canceled). The novel was Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, which I had never read, and had always reproached myself for not having [...]

We are living in very confused and confusing times. The pestilence is upon us and many of us find ourselves in lockdown, under house arrest, and, if we live alone, in solitary confinement. Worse, at least for Catholics, is the fact that we have been locked out of our churches and exiled from the sacraments. [...]

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