The Death of Ivan IIych

Onward, Catholic Soldiers

I’m ambivalent about that most common pro-life argument: that, because life begins at conception, to abort a pregnancy is to commit murder. That’s not to say I don’t believe it’s true. On the contrary: it’s not only true, it’s obviously true. It’s one of the few points upon which credible scientists and ethicists can agree. [...]

Respice finem: Death and Life in Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych”

Despite years of reading, rereading, and teaching great works, I continue to marvel at the inevitable timeliness of timeless literature. And so, as I prepare to teach "The Death of Ivan Ilych" once again, on the cusp of the month the Church has dedicated to All Holy Souls, I am struck by how Leo Tolstoy’s novella [...]

Teaching Death to Nursing Students with Leo Tolstoy

 To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. ~ T. S. Eliot We’ve come to the close of our annual month-long reminder of the obvious: We’re all going to die. It’s a truism that we learned as kids in Sunday school and CCD—the first of the four [...]

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy: A Story for All Souls

A man lies on his deathbed—screaming; screaming for three days without cessation. Even behind closed doors, the sound horrifies all who hear even its muffled suggestion. The death of Ivan Ilych was no peaceful affair. It was a fight literally to the death; and it is a struggle we all must undergo, for we all [...]

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