If America wasn’t ready for Moby Dick when it came out, America is less so now.
Just not this book.
We all think we understand the world, but truthfully we really only understand it with the handful of building blocks we’ve collected along the way. We interpret and assume and fill in the blanks with faith and fear, colliding with others who are doing the same.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
~ St. Augustine
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
― William Faulkner, from Requiem for a Nun
She was, by her own description, a simple creature. Shy and adverse to attention, she was a recluse of self-imposed sequestration. Her room was a cell from which she had limited contact with the outside world and though her writings were virtually unknown during her lifetime, she is a towering pioneer of English literature. Emily […]
What if you can no longer measure up, no longer be involved, if you have used up all your fantasies?
As a kid I was blessed to have gotten my hands on an ancient book of fairy tales, many ancient books actually, the original Nancy Drews, the Wizard of Oz. Some people don’t realize it, but these versions are different from what we see today. They have characters full of dimension, angst, suffering, sometimes a […]
Death is the release of our person to eternity.
Despite the complexity of his organic method for creating the prints, Watanabe was astonishingly prolific, creating over five hundred large prints and hundreds of smaller ones.
A novel that tackles such existential issues could easily become dry and philosophical, but instead The Second Coming is wise, comic, and touching, even as it is cynical about much that passes for wisdom in this post-Christian age.
Arguably one of the best songwriters of all time, and one whose lyrics could stand alongside the best of poets, Cockburn has never found the widespread audience he deserves.
Pope John Paul II said at the beatification of Fra Angelico: “His belief became art, which in turn became faith. The art became a prayer.
Chris Willman, music writer for Entertainment Weekly, wrote that “he really could’ve been a star if he were singing about something other than Jesus.”3 But with Larry Norman, that is unimaginable.
Earlier this week, a friend asked me how to read a poem. It was a question I have been asked before, and so I felt I should know how to give a better answer than I did. Of course, it may depend on the poem, and the mind and the training of the mind of […]
George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948, and yes – he simply flipped the last two years as a nod to “where things are headed.” It has been in the news recently due to the election of Donald J Trump to the presidency of the United States, as many see similarities in his policies and Orwell’s […]
“Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story-just like the typewriter was mine.”
I hear the train a comin’
The task of the artist is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know. By means of art we are sometimes sent—dimly, briefly—revelations unattainable by reason.
He was intent upon filming the landscape of the human soul.
Everything should not be shown, or there is no art; art lies in suggestion.
“Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“God breathes through us so completely . . . so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet, it is our everything.”
“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.” Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” If that’s right, then it likely follows that C.S. Lewis was the greatest theological mind of his time. The scholar who came to his faith with great […]
One of these mornings One of these mornings I’m gonna lay down my cross Get me a crown One of these evenings, oh Lord Late one evening, my Lord Late one evening I’m going home to live on high Starts as soon as my feet strike Zion Lay down my heavy burdens Put on my […]
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Art imitates life – or is it the other way around? Some artistic expressions have become so tied to our common experience that our lives seem synonymous with their content. This is not […]
Theology offers the Christian believer not just a faith which demands belief, but one which makes sense intellectually. As such, theology is a necessarily intricate discipline; probing the revealed thoughts of God is no light, simple task. Christian theology done right, whether it is biblical, systematic, or historical, brings the minds of the current generation […]
The evening news has a reputation for blood thirst. “If it bleeds, it leads” they say. This is almost universally considered bad taste, but the practice continues because it draws an audience, albeit for wrong reasons. Artists, like filmmakers, for instance, have traditionally let some time pass before depicting horrors. The tragedy of September 11th’s […]
“God was executed by people painfully like us, in a society very similar to our own—in the over-ripeness of the most splendid and sophisticated Empire the world has ever seen.” Heretics were once tortured and executed. We know that, of course, but who decides what heresy is? Human judgment is always subjective and has […]
“We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” Prayer is communication with God, but what does that mean? Prayer emphasizes God’s mystery, inscrutability, and immanence—God is closer than our very breath. We get to know […]
By now you have seen the apocalyptic images of Houston Texas with its entire infrastructure completely submerged in the floods of Hurricane Harvey. As one of her lifelong residents, I assure you that no photograph captures its impact. Tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of people saw their homes swept away by the water. Even […]
“Oh,’ the priest said, ‘that’s another thing altogether – God is love. I don’t say the heart doesn’t feel a taste of it, but what a taste. The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch-water. We wouldn’t recognize that love. It might even look like hate. It would be enough to […]
ISAIAH 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. There are […]
I look around as heads begin to bow and white, black and brown hands reach out together in a sacred moment, and I can’t help but thinking that this is how it should be everyday.
I am not afraid; I was born to do this. Few stories captivate the heart like that of Joan of Arc. The incredulity of a young teenage maiden, leading the armies of France at the behest of God is epic by definition. She has been portrayed in every art-form, but today we examine what is […]
“The more I visited in the Southwest,” she wrote in an essay about the novel, “the more I felt that the story of the Catholic Church in that country was the most interesting of its stories. The old mission churches, even those which were abandoned and in ruins, had a moving reality about them; the […]
“Quite suddenly I became aware that everything was full of special meaning, and this made everything holy. The instinct of Moses to take his shoes off when he saw the burning bush was very similar to my feelings. I saw many burning bushes in Cookham. I observed the sacred quality in the most unexpected quarters.” […]
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with […]
“The imaginings of the boy I once was, who sat engrossed in the Bible on long winter evenings, were reawakened. When I read, I saw pictures: the richest Middle Eastern fantasies. They constantly flew around in my mind’s eye until much, much later the grown man and artist painted and painted them, as if inspired […]
“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.” The term “bigger than life” is now cliché but it is in no way ironic when applied to G.K. Chesterton. It begins with his stature (6’4” […]
POEM 260 “I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell! They ’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!” We all have countless opportunities to nurture genius, but […]
“I have no doubt an inheritance of religious feeling, and for this I am glad, but I have also a decided and I hope an intelligent religious faith not due to inheritance but to my own convictions. I believe my religion. I have chosen the character of my art because it conveys my message and […]
Some conversions of faith are quiet events in the stillness of one’s heart. Others, however, are epiphanies of disquieting thunder. Such was the case with James Tissot. Already a successful painter whose playboy reputation was apparently well-earned, Tissot was changed by a vision he experienced during mass. This single event profoundly altered his course for […]
When I have a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion, then I go out and paint the stars. In many ways, it was just business. Van Gogh made his living by painting so he was sensitive to the market. He painted at least twenty-one versions of Starry Night because they seemed to sell well. […]
The straight line is the line of Man, the curve is the line of God Cathedrals are breath-taking by design. Their architects have always sought to portray religious grandeur (at least overtly) but detractors have likewise accused them of self-glorification. Today’s masterpiece is almost unrivaled in aspiration and it is still incomplete. As Terry Glaspey […]
Brothers, be not afraid of men’s sins. Love man even in his sin, for that already bears the semblance of divine love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the […]
“I feel like I don’t fit at all.” “I wish there was greater understanding that we are not ‘strange.’” “What about us—are we valuable?” “I sometimes feel isolated, scrutinized, and ignored.” I heard statements like this over and over again as I interviewed people for my new book. The really dispiriting thing is, these people […]