The Holy Sonnets by John Donne (1633)

Spiritual truth is difficult for the rational mind to grasp.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us to all truth and indeed, absent God’s intrusion our modern minds gravitate to only that which is reasonable – and reason is a hobbled teacher.  We understand this most directly in matters of love, for as Pascal […]

Telling the Truth Through Whimsy by Melissa Cain Travis

The Surprise G.K. Chesterton “The most monstrous of all monsters are marching across your stage, shaking the earth like dragons and chimeras; the most towering, the most terrible creatures that life ever let loose upon chaos. Stand back—stand out of their way. They are living men.” G.K. Chesterton wrote extensively on the subjects of creativity, […]

Philia and Patriotism by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

In Saint Petersburg in the 1860s a group of friends, the Могучая кучка (Moguchaya kuchka) which is roughly translated as “the Five” or “The Mighty Handful” met together for drink and discussion about Music and Philosophy not unlike The Inklings did with literature and poetry a generation later. These Russian composers all lived in St […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 5

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Satire is at once funny and uncomfortable.  G.K. Chesterton said “A man is angry at a libel because it is false, but at a satire because it is true.” As Karen […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 4

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Mother Teresa said “Some people come into your life as blessings, some come as lessons.” We smile at that because we have all had to deal with difficult people and many lessons have been […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 3

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”  This sounds like common sense but many relationships fail because they were founded on the basis of […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 2

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Chapter 7 of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me deals with symbols, including specifically their relation to sex.  Here we find the dangerous divide between imagined and real freedom.  The […]

Sex, Symbol, and Satire: Day 1

Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift “Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” This week we look to Jonathan Swift and his masterwork Gulliver’s Travels.  The story is familiar, but widely misunderstood.  Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the sanitized and highly abridged version consumed by […]

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 […]