Paris

Jean-Marie Lustiger

Journalists trying to assess the life of Jean-Marie Lustiger (1926-2007) are like the crowd at the foot of Mount Sinai trying to figure out why Moses was complicating their lives. An eloquent sadness in him was too ancient for any one race to claim; and when, in 1999, he read his own mother's name, Gisele, [...]

‘But, Monseigneur…’

Several months ago, I came across an anecdote in the life of Madame de Maintenon who, readers will recall, became the wife of Louis XIV in his latter years. This devout lady had refused to be his mistress, and was apparently instrumental in bundling him along toward some rag of authenticity in his practice of [...]

What Might Have Been

Paris, Saturday, January 14, 2004. We are at Maillot Gate, a few steps away from the Champs Elysées and the business quarter of La Defense. On the left is the 34-story skyscraper of the Hotel Concorde La Fayette—a disruptive landmark amid the gorgeous town houses whose plush façades date back to the end of the [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Extraordinary Enough To Be Exciting

In his Autobiography, G.K. Chesterton, who as he tells us was in despair as a young man, decided finally that he had had enough of this pessimistic thought and had decided to revolt against it. He found very little help from the standard sources, he recalled: But as I was still thinking the thing out by [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Augustine For the Ages

Book III, Chapter 7 of St. Augustine's Confessions is entitled, marvelously: He Deplores His Wretchedness, That Having Been Born Thirty-Two Years, He Had Not Yet Found Out The Truth. In a culture whose public (oftentimes even ecclesiastical) doctrine, is theoretical "pluralism" — that is, that there is no "truth" but one's own private feelings — [...]

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