Category Archives: Religion

A Prophet Against Anonymous Dictatorship

“If you do not watch out, what the dictators wanted to achieve in a few years will materialize in fifty or a hundred; the result will be the same: the State will have conquered all, absorbed all; you will have … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

A Hermit’s Tale for the Holidays

This Christmas Eve I found myself reading a biography of Paul of Thebes (c. 226 – c. 341), written by another saint – Jerome, the famous translator of the Bible into the Latin Vulgate. Paul is considered the first Christian … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion

When Regret is a Good Thing

Williams Shatner, best remembered for his Captain Kirk role in Star Trek, argues that “Regret is the worst human emotion. If you took another road, you might have fallen off a cliff. I’m content.” This is sound thinking on a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion

Studying Nature with Thales

While admiring the autumnal beauty of a cool clear day I was struck by a sudden perspective: a group of birch trees framed by their larger neighbors. The contrast of pale golden leaves and the smooth light bark was an … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion

Benevolent to Man, Reverent to God

In a letter written in 1777 to the bookseller Edward Dilly, the biographer Samuel Johnson said of the somewhat obscure poet Isaac Watts (1674-1748), “I would not willingly be reduced to tell of him only that he was born and … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Religion, Samuel Johnson

The Ambivalence of History

“We all work together to one end, some of us with conscious understanding, others without knowing it…”–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VI.42 There are happy coincidences when the things we read all seem to be making the same point. Or perhaps we … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy, Religion

The End of Philosophizing

That the end of life is also the end of philosophizing can be seen in two ways: first, that philosophy finds its culmination in, and prepares us for, death (as famously expressed by Cicero); second, that rational inquiry comes to … Continue reading

Posted in Josef Pieper, Philosophy, Religion

The Last Pagan Emperor

Abbot Giueseppe Ricciotti’s fascinating study of the last pagan emperor, popularly known as “Julian the Apostate” (331-363), is well worth reading. The book was first published in 1960, and later reissued as a paperback. According to a contemporary Kirkus Review: … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy, Religion

Radical Differences

There has been a major verbal fray over Dean Detloff’s essay in the Jesuit-run America Magazine, “The Catholic Case for Communism.” Rather than detail the obvious historical gaps in Detloff’s apologia pro Karl Marx—i.e., the misery and oppression that accompanies … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Theatre of the Absurd

The fantasy of the world as presented in the Theatre of the Absurd… also says something… revealing the meaning that lies embedded in meaninglessness, the order underlying confusion, the indestructible love at the heart of the holocaust of hate, the … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Religion