Order and Beauty and Essential Presence in the Transformed Life by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

Johann Sebastian Bach lived from 1685 to 1750. He mastered order and that mastery has captivated generations of music lovers. When listening or performing Bach, order and beauty are easily perceived and felt, but what is not always apparent in our day is the rigor and obedience to the liturgical calendar, a calendar which orders […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 5

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘Forgive me as you are forgiven! I forgive YOU, Angel.’                              ‘You—yes, you do.’ ‘But you do not forgive me?’                                                                                   ‘O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person;  now you are another. My God—how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque-prestidigitation as that!’                                                                                                         He […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 4

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘I cannot help associating your decline as a family with this other fact—of your want of firmness. Decrepit families imply decrepit wills, decrepit conduct. Heaven, why did you give me a handle for despising you more by informing me of your descent! Here was I thinking you a new-sprung […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 2

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed. College years have always been a challenge to young people.  The newness of independent living combined with an environment designed to stretch their understanding and awareness is often […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 1

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy . . . he now began to discredit the old appraisements of morality. He thought they wanted readjusting. Who was the moral man? Still more pertinently, who was the moral woman? The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and […]

Stranded in Time: How the Metaphysical and Physical are Necessarily Linked by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

“A human being is a vessel that God has built for himself and filled with His inspiration so that his works are perfected in it” Hildegard von Bingen, O.S.B., the twelfth century mystic, theologian, poet, and composer/playwright lived so long ago that it warrants a timeline of sorts to see just how ahead of her […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 5

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë He was the first to recognize me, and to love what he saw. What does it mean to find your voice?  Among other things, the phrase has come to mean to expression of one’s true self.  It is no simple task.  For many, the path to discovery is through expressive writing.  […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 4

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”  Rejection is tough at any age but it is especially painful in adolescence.  At a time when peer pressure is an overwhelming force, young people will often do things outside of […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 2

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë “Mr. Rochester, I no more assign this fate to you than I grasp at it for myself. We were born to strive and endure – you as well as I: do so. You will forget me before I forget you.” Centuries ago, children were considered grown whenever they could reproduce.  There […]

Beholding is Becoming: Day 1

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. This week we turn our attention to Charlotte Brontë’s classic nineteenth century novel Jane Eyre. First published in 1847, the book follows the life of an orphan who learns the value of […]

The Cognoscenti & the Apologetics of Curiosity by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

How Things You Wish to Know Are Accessible Through Curiosity and Community   One of the most delightful aspects of participating in Literary Life is the charm and fascination of its members. As I read through the posts and comments, I meet a range of characters from the beguiling and clever to the serious and searching. Much […]

The Magic Of Story: Day 5

Great Expectations Charles Dickens After I had turned the worse point of my illness, I began to notice that while all its other features changed, this one consistent feature did not change. Whoever came about me, still settled down into Joe. I opened my eyes in the day, and, sitting on the window-seat, smoking his […]

The Magic Of Story: Day 3

Great Expectations Charles Dickens Is it a very wicked place?” I asked, more for the sake of saying something than for information. “You may get cheated, robbed, and murdered in London. But there are plenty of people anywhere, who’ll do that for you.” “If there is bad blood between you and them,” said I, to […]

What Do You Seek?

Great Expectations Charles Dickens There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth. Our lives, like the characters of Dickens’ finest novel, are filled with great expectation.  We likewise are often disappointed –  in spite of […]

For Theirs Is The Kingdom Of Heaven

Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 5

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 4

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 3

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 2

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 1

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

Engaging With Art by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

“Art is a distinct and irreplaceable way of knowing the world because it alone unlike science or philosophy uses and engages the fullness of our humanity” ~Dana Gioia “But surely arrested development consists not in refusing to lose old things but in failing to add new things.” ~CS Lewis To grow ourselves in the art […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 5

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 4

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White Ever since the spider had befriended him, he had done his best to live up to his reputation. When Charlotte’s web said SOME PIG, Wilbur had tried hard to look like some pig. When Charlotte’s web said TERRIFIC, Wilbur had tried to look terrific. And now that the web said RADIANT, […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 3

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White How’s this?” he asked, showing the ad to Charlotte. It says ‘Crunchy.’ ‘Crunchy’ would be a good word to write in your web.” Just the wrong idea,” replied Charlotte. “Couldn’t be worse. We don’t want Zuckerman to think Wilbur is crunchy. He might start thinking about crisp, crunchy bacon and tasty […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 2

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, then the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world.… Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 1

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White Fern came slowly down the stairs. Her eyes were red from crying. As she approached her chair, the carton wobbled, and there was a scratching noise. Fem looked at her father. Then she lifted the lid of the car­ton. There, inside, looking up at her, was the newborn pig. It was […]

Truth Above All Is Available by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

The most tangible expression of its availability is, of course, the Incarnation. But what on this earth connects us to that reality? After all, as Dallas Willard said, God is Spirit, or “unbodily personal power.” One of my favorite CS Lewis essays is a letter Lewis wrote to Owen Barfield in which he brilliantly unpacks […]

Books Promiscuously Read: Day 5

Areopagitica John Milton Well knows he who uses to consider, that our faith and knowledge thrives by exercise, as well as our limbs and complexion. Truth is compared in Scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition. A man […]

Books Promiscuously Read: Day 4

I Have A Dream Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When we allow freedom to ring-when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and […]

Books Promiscuously Read: Day 3

Emily Dickinson Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind — Children are inquisitive and insatiable for knowledge.  This can be […]

Books Promiscuously Read: Day 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling “How do you feel, Georgie?” whispered Mrs. Weasley. George’s fingers groped for the side of his head. “Saintlike,” he murmured. “What’s wrong with him?” croaked Fred, looking terrified. “Is his mind affected?” “Saintlike,” repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. “You see…I’m HOLEY, […]

Easter by George Herbert

    Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise     Without delays,     Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise     With him mayst rise.     That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,     His life may make thee gold, and much more just.         Awake, my lute, and struggle […]

Literary Life News

Hi everyone. I have some exciting news. As you know Literary Life’s mission is to reach the world for Christ through the arts. Leading with a discussion of modern and classic literature, we seek to tease out eternal truths which may be illumined by fiction, poetry, art and music. While we have always included a […]

Holy Saturday

Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross Malcolm Guite His spirit and his life he breathes in all, Now on this cross his body breathes no more. Here at the centre everything is still, Spent, and emptied, opened to the core. A quiet taking down, a prising loose, A cross-beam lowered like a weighing […]

Maundy Thursday by Malcolm Guite

Here is the source of every sacrament, The all-transforming presence of the Lord, Replenishing our every element, Remaking us in his creative Word. For here the earth herself gives bread and wine, The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech, The fire dances where the candles shine, The waters cleanse us with his gentle touch. […]

The Anointing At Bethany by Malcom Guite

Come close with Mary, Martha, Lazarus, So close the candles flare with their soft breath, And kindle heart and soul to flame within us Lit by these mysteries of life and death. For beauty now begins the final movement, In quietness and intimate encounter, The alabaster jar of precious ointment Is broken open for the […]

Cleansing The Temple by Malcolm Guite

Come to your Temple here with liberation And overturn these tables of exchange, Restore in me my lost imagination, Begin in me for good the pure change. Come as you came, an infant with your mother, That innocence may cleanse and claim this ground. Come as you came, a boy who sought his father With […]