Art & Culture

The American city is built on efficiency. Roads weave and connect, and gas stations populate major street corners. Fast food restaurant chains pepper the highways so that drivers can eat as soon as they are hungry. Mountains are leveled and rivers are redirected so that the greatest number can fit in the smallest area. Buildings [...]

The American city is built on efficiency. Roads weave and connect, and gas stations populate major street corners. Fast food restaurant chains pepper the highways so that drivers can eat as soon as they are hungry. Mountains are leveled and rivers are redirected so that the greatest number can fit in the smallest area. Buildings [...]

Let Teddy Stay

Navigating the current political waters can seem not only difficult but pointless. In our times, leadership has failed in almost every sector of society: families are broken, schools are in need of desperate aid, governors and senators vow false promises they know they will not keep, and mob rule appears to be replacing the ethical [...]

People who read Dante for the first time may well be surprised that of the two great ways to embrace what is evil—as opposed to loving what is good but in an evil way—the poet says that fraud is worse than violence. This is because violence suppresses or negates what separates man from the beasts, [...]

Give me Attila the Hun over our present-day homegrown barbarians. There was something honest about the old-fashioned barbarians. Whether they were the Huns or the Vikings, or the Vandals or the Visigoths, there was something honest about them. They made no bones about it: they were going to sweep down, burn your village, rape your [...]

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” —Matthew 6:22 I’m content, at the age of about twenty-five (the exact number escapes me), to stay exactly where I am. I’ve moved precisely once since my undergraduate days. Nothing’s more futile than [...]

Baron Friedrich von Hügel was born in Germany but spent most of his life in England, having married into the distinguished family of Herberts. He was a popular spiritual writer in the Anglo-Catholic sphere of the early 20th century. One of his works, The Life of Prayer, is a short treatise that questions the assumption, [...]

When I was a theology student at Oxford in the early 1980s, I came across a collection of essays that had come out a few years earlier. The book was called The Myth of God Incarnate. A number of the authors were Oxford theologians, some of whom I studied under. The editor, John Hick, summed [...]

Meditations on the Litany of Loreto for the Month of May By John Henry Newman, edited by Peter M. J. Stravinskas. Newman House Press USA 2019 John Henry Newman: saint, poet, theologian, pastor, and unseen father of the Second Vatican Council…we sing his beautiful hymns, and we read his Apologia pro Vita Sua, and more. But [...]

          I saw the ’potamus take wing Ascending from the damp savannas, And quiring angels round him sing The praise of God, in loud hosannas.  Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean And him shall heavenly arms enfold, Among the saints he shall be seen Performing on a harp of gold. — T.S. Eliot [...]

I have been reading the works of Saint Hildegard (1098–1179), the visionary mystic, naturalist, scriptural exegete, artist, and musical composer. In one of his weekly audiences, Pope Benedict XVI recommended her to us for her remarkable meditations upon the Word made flesh, which made manifest what she called the “greenness” of the Father’s power, and [...]

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends,” says Albus Dumbledore in an address to the Great Hall in J.K. Rowling’s The Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in her fabulously successful Harry Potter series. I confess I don’t know who [...]

The apogee of collaborationist Catholicism, alongside its more radical co-religionists, was undoubtedly the day of my birth: November 8, 1960. It was the day John F. Kennedy was elected president. He had already paid the price of admission to the Oval Office with a speech before the Houston Ministerial Association the previous September 12, in [...]

“Persuasion—the highest form of persuasion at any rate—cannot be achieved without a sense of beauty.” When I was boy, I was confronted on several occasions with Mssrs. Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. It revealed to me many valuable points, indeed, a whole theory of writing, most of which I have since forgotten, or, more [...]

In 1752, a fifteen-year-old Edward Gibbon entered the halls of Magdalen College, Oxford, where his father had enrolled him as a gentleman commoner. The aspect of his new academic mother did not inspire the young scholar with immediate reverence, nor would the passage of many years cause him to look back on his brief term [...]

It’s been a strange and difficult semester for Catholic schools and colleges. Our institutions offer a unique social, spiritual, and intellectual formation that depends on personal presence, but students have been exiled from our classrooms, chapels, and athletic fields. For Catholic educators who have struggled to build on the strong relationships formed in the first [...]

The pandemic has suddenly thrown our affluent and seemingly secure and safe lives into a tailspin. In fact, the security and certainty was always an illusion, and in East Coker T.S. Eliot ponders life’s shifting uncertainty: And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived Of [...]

It stands overlooking the Thames, across an exceptionally glorious view of a beautiful part of England. White and austere, it has the solemn feeling of a temple, and you instinctively—and correctly—lower your voice as you draw near. This is Runnymede. The name echoes at once in the mind of anyone with a care for English history—for [...]

According to one sage observation: he who gets to name names, wins. Why do we talk about the Protestant Reformation and not the Protestant Revolution, for example? After all, Martin Luther commenced his journey as a reformer, repulsed righteously, as most of us would be, by the corruption and decadence of the Rome of his [...]

The New York Times recently ran a piece titled “Women’s Unpaid Labor is Worth $10,900,000,000,000.” It was exactly as cynical and one-sided as one might expect. Though the piece masqueraded as a simple survey of women’s often-unseen contributions to society (in honor of International Women’s Day), the piece slipped into the quasi-Marxist commercialist drivel that [...]

Reading and hearing the Passion of Christ this past Lent, I have been even more strongly impressed than in previous years by the historical objectivity and specificity of the four Gospel accounts of the events they relate. Competent narrative historians understand, as good novelists do, the importance of minute but telling factual detail to an [...]

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 [...]

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