T.S. Eliot

Time for Some Trust Busting?

Which organizations are most likely to advance the cause of Islamic dominance? ISIS? Al Qaeda? Hezbollah? The Muslim Brotherhood? If you’ve been keeping track of world events, these are the names that will most likely come to mind. There are, however, other names to consider—organizations which at first glance seem entirely non-threatening, yet are capable [...]

The Future of the West: Christian or Pagan?

A friend of mine lives in one of Philadelphia’s comfortable suburbs. She and her husband are both attorneys. Both hold Ivy League degrees. Their community is nearly 90 percent white, rich in Quaker history, above average in education and income, and low in crime. People are friendly. Nights are quiet. Streets are clean and safe. [...]

Making the Case for Martyrdom

“I expect to die in my bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”  ∼ Francis Cardinal George, OMI [...]

God is With Us

Near the end of a long and distinguished life, spanning nearly the entire nineteenth century, John Henry Cardinal Newman (declared Blessed by Pope Benedict in 2010), was asked about something he’d written. Now Newman, who was no slouch by any standard, had written a great many things, all of them of a very high order, [...]

“I Thirst”

“But suppose God didn’t quite finish by closing time of the afternoon of the sixth day? ...Suppose that Creation, the process of replacing chaos with order, were still going on. What would that mean? In the biblical metaphor of the six days of Creation, we would find ourselves somewhere in the middle of Friday afternoon. Man was just created a [...]

Seeking God in the Silence

"Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence…" ∼  T.S. Eliot, Ash-Wednesday One of the truly awful torments of modern life, from whose myriad aggressions no one is entirely safe, is noise. More and more, it fills the space that was once marked by that silence [...]

The Funeral March for Life

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.” Those who choose repose receive release from the mandates of truth—but it is only temporary. Truth cannot be rejected forever. Those who choose truth, on the other hand, have no rest—and so they march. They march ever onward. The March [...]

The Witness of Heroism

“In my beginning is my end.”   ∼ T.S. Eliot In a passage often cited from the Pensees, which the author sets down in grim and graphic detail, Pascal summons the reader to reflect on the awful finality of death.   “The last act is bloody,” he tells us, “however fine the rest of the play. [...]

Who Needs Poetry?

What are poems for? Is there any real point in writing them? And what about us, the folks who are expected to buy all that bilge—is it quite necessary that we actually read all that bleeping poetry? Exercising his customary acuity, C.S. Lewis tells us that poems exist to remind us that water is wet [...]

The End of St. John the Baptist

 In my beginning is my end.  –T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets: “East Coker” St. John the Baptist’s origin and vocation, as recorded in the beginning of the fourth gospel, provides hints of his destiny.  In his beginning is his end. The fourth gospel declares that John’s vocation is “to bear witness” to the Messiah.  Within the [...]

Not-So Brave New World

 “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but a whimper.” These lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” are often quoted, but seldom taken to heart.  Even those of us who consider ourselves students of Eliot’s work on civilizational decline tend to overdramatize what is really a quite tawdry cultural age. [...]

Awaiting the Fire’s Fall: Pentecost in Art & History

Not since the impacted savageries of the late 8th century, when Viking raiding parties ravaged the coast of England, can anything compare to the protracted destruction wrought by the German Air Force during the Battle of Britain.  Between September of 1940 and May of 1941, countless incendiary bombs fell upon that brave island race.  A [...]

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account [...]

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