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?
Death is the release of our person to eternity.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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 […]
“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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
SURPRISED BY JOY C.S. Lewis “Turning to the bookstall, I picked out an Everyman in a dirty jacket, Phantastes: A Faerie Romance, George MacDonald. Then the train came in. I can still remember the voice of the porter calling out the village names, Saxon and sweet as a nut—‘Bookham, Effingham, Horsley train.’ That evening I […]
First impressions are often disastrously wrong.
“Jesus was not a theologian. He was God who told stories.”
Though it was published in 1678, we still use phrases from the book, even if many of us don’t know that they originated in The Pilgrim’s Progress: “the slough of despond,” “vanity fair,” “muckraker,” and “worldly wise.”
Herbert intended the verses he composed to be for God and for himself, as a way of meditating on the progress of his faith. We are fortunate enough to get to listen in.
Man alone, as the crown of creation, bears the image of the good Creator and thus has within himself the capacity and desire to create beautiful and meaningful things for their own sake.
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 […]
Suicide violates the imago Dei, the image of God with which we are created, and that is simply idolatry.
But once again, even in considering the possibility, I am trying to even the score.
“At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
No other artist was as effective at depicting the dark creatures that inhabit our nightmares.
Albrecht Dürer’s art is filled with a love for the rich and teeming wild world that God created as well as a longing for a better world to come.
In a letter Dante wrote to a contemporary, he explained the purpose of his poem: “to remove those living in this life from the state of misery and to lead them to the state of bliss.”
“What intelligent things you say sometimes! One would think you had studied.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
The power of encouragement.
No amount of Herculean intellect and wit is enough.
After the searching share of pain
Has cut a furrow through my heart.
A tasty little back-story.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Both the man of old and the man of today await this spark, but only the ancient scholar-gypsy harbors any hope that the spark will come.
The cliffs were unable to provide harbor for an attack greater than that conveyed by even the fiercest weapons of war—the erosion of the faith that had defined the nation’s identity since the years of the Roman Empire.
Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
One doesn’t struggle against something one doesn’t believe in.
Brideshead Revisited highlights a different literary era, and causes us to long for the faith which satisfies.
What is metaphysics?
Not your everyday conceit…
Sexual, Physical, and Transcendent