Psalms

France: A Tale of Two Faiths

Last March, an Islamist terrorist stormed a supermarket in Trèbes, France, shot two people dead and took others hostage. In negotiations with police, the terrorist agreed to accept a police lieutenant’s offer to swap places with the last hostage, a female cashier. The police officer, Arnaud Beltrame, was subsequently killed. In honor of his heroic [...]

Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates leads a group of ambitious young Athenians on a search for the best way of life. Their verbal construction of a perfectly just regime is not motivated by idealism, real or feigned, but by genuine perplexity about the one thing human beings cannot help desiring: happiness. Glaucon, Adeimantus, and their companions [...]

Songs of the Saved and the Bland

This is the third article in a series by Prof. Esolen on the mutilation of hymn lyrics. The edition of "Worship III" referred to throughout is the Canadian one.   To complete my holiday autopsy of the musical corpus left to us after forty years of tinkering, I'll highlight how recent hymnal editors have botched [...]

Singing Lessons

This essay first appeared in the September 1996 issue of Crisis Magazine. The Mass is the very core of the Catholic liturgy, the supremely important expression of the Church's faith. It is clear that a skewed concept of the Mass that fails to do justice to its essence will in due time harm the believer's [...]

Peace

The Mind of God is not an open book to us -- the finite cannot comprehend the infinite -- yet I have noticed that people (including this correspondent) sometimes speak as if it were. Having thoughtlessly omitted from our intentions the rather crucial "nevertheless, according to Thy will," we presume to know precisely what God [...]

Whom Have I in Heaven but Thee?

Whom have I in heaven but thee? So cried Asaph the psalmist. It is an astonishing moment in the history of man, for Asaph had looked upon the wicked and seen how they prospered. His feet had well nigh slipped, he says. Yet he held fast to two truths that had been revealed to him. [...]

Fourteen Easy Ways to Improve the Liturgy

  Boredom during the liturgy is something all Catholics have felt from time to time, and it's never justifiable. No matter how mundane the architecture, how dull the homily, or how bad the music, what's taking place on the altar is a miraculous sacrifice that gives us the grace for salvation. That reality should be [...]

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